Day 4: First full day on the ISS
Today was the first full day of space station work for ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori and his crewmates of the Soyuz ‘taxi’ crew.
After several very strenuous weeks including a visit from the US Space Shuttle, the re-docking of the TM33 Soyuz rescue vehicle last Saturday and the arrival of the taxi crew this Saturday, the Expedition 4 crew took a day "off" to regain strength, reporting only the necessary information to the Moscow and Houston control centres.
After already starting the ALTEINO radiation spectrometer late yesterday, Roberto had a busy day setting up the rest of the experiments. Using himself as a test subject, Roberto measured the effects of radiation on the electrical activity of the brain with the help of the ALTEINO Halley device, a cap with skin electrodes and a registration unit.
The CHIRO experiment, in which simple force measurements of handgrip are taken, will help to reveal the changes of muscular and neurological activity in weightlessness. Roberto reported that he successfully performed the first run.
Throughout the morning Roberto took the opportunity to take a series of photos of his home country, Italy, from an altitude of 400 km. The International Space Station passes over the whole length of the Italian 'boot' in just a matter of minutes.
Including VEST, the test of a new improved set of clothing for his on-board activities, Roberto today activated most of the planned experiments.