This past week (June 2-8, 2013), now more acclimated to the differences of microgravity, Luca conducted some very important biological experiments: CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS and SKIN-B. CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS is an experiment which studies how the biological clock is affected by an altered sleep schedule. Space is the perfect medium for this experiment as Luca experiences sixteen sunrises and sets a day. Applications experiment of this include helping emergency workers, doctors, and others who work odd hours be more efficient, effective and alert. The second experiment was SKIN-B. SKIN-B is an experiment which looks into the aging of skin, as well as various skin afflictions (such as dryness and irritation) that affect astronauts.
One of Luca’s other tasks this week was the preparation of the Columbus module for new ATV cargo. But what’s an ATV? ATV means Automated Transport Vehicle, and is a European unmanned resupply vehicle. It brings important equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, clothing, and water, to the ISS. Luca completed this task before schedule, surprising ESA control members, and showing his dedication and interest in his job! ESA successfully launched the ATV-4 Albert Einstein on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 and it will arrive on June 15, 2013. Luca will be one of the astronauts responsible for processing this ATV, which will be a big job. Stay updated on all the happenings on the ISS by checking out live ISS updates here! Also make sure to check out Luca’s website and his Volare mission blog to find out more about what he is doing. And don’t forget to follow his social channels (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+).
My favorite @Astro_Luca photos this week:
I love this photo of luca because while it may not be as stunning as some (har har) it shows him working on a valuable aspect of the ISS: scientific research.
Okay… how could I not love this photo! I saw it, and then I read the caption and did a double take!
This photo really called to me because it emphasized the isolation on the ISS. It shows earth through a small circular window and really makes you think. Every time I look at it I have different emotions.
How many of you have taken pictures of clouds from an airplane? I know that’s one of my favorite things to do every time I fly! So to see it from space was interesting as well… I guess our weather system never loses interest, no matter how far you go!
Photo Credits : ESA/NASA