Sunday, November 15, 2009

International Space Station Center

We spent most of today at the International Space Station Center. This is where they do all the work preparing the parts they are sending up to the Space Station. This is a picture of the "clean room". Everyone who works in this room must wear sterile suits much like they wear in a hospital operating room. Today, there was no activity in the clean room. All the parts are already loaded on the Space Shuttle in preparation for tomorrow's launch. The crew had the day off.

There are various pictures of the Space Station around the building.

This is the laboratory room on the Space Station.
Among the displays in the lab are these plants. They are researching how weightlessness effects growing plants. The butterflies will probably have a section in this room as well.
This torture device is actually the bathroom. You will notice the footpedals that help to hold you on the toilet and the hose for men and women to use to urinate without it flying all over the room.
This is a shower.
Everything on the Space Station is very compact. This is an apartment for one. You will notice the sleeping bag hanging on the wall. The astronauts zip themselves into this so they don't float away during the night. The other side of the room has the tiny compartment for the astronauts to store their personal items. This is all the space they have for everything they need for the four to six months they will be living here.

As we were leaving tonight we saw this astronaut outside the Space Center Store. We got there just in time to get this picture. He left a few minutes later.

Many things were closed down today or off limits. They are preparing for tomorrow's launch. We are really hoping to be able to catch a glimpse of the shuttle as it goes up. If there are no delays, we should be able to see it and still make it to the airport in time. But even a short delay will cause us to miss our flight. Let's hope there are no delays.

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