ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti working in the Japanese module Kibo, also called JEM for Japanese Experiment Module, on the International Space Station during her Futura mission in 2015.
Samantha commented: “Once in a while we get to install hardware on the slide table of the JEM airlock, so that it can be transferred outside. Typically we have installed minisatellites encapsulated in their deployment system. In this case, I’m installing the Robotic Refuelling Mission, a technology demonstrator for automatic refuelling of satellites in orbit. A lot of delicate components to be handled with utmost respect! By the way, on the far right you can see a screenshot of WorldMap, our Earth observation software. It shows us our flight path on the Earth surface, pass predictions and much more. The four green boxes on the other laptops show us the com status of our four space-to-ground channels in up and downlink. Green is good, gray is loss of signal. That com display can be pulled up on any of the PCS laptops, which are on the control bus of the Station and provide telemetry and commanding. Since the ground does the commanding remotely most of the time, we keep most of our PCSs just like this, with the com status display pulled up and maximized in size. They are strategically placed so that there is one in view wherever we are on Station, so that we can always easily check if we have com with the ground or not.”
Follow Samantha via samanthacristoforetti.esa.int