ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet working on the ENERGY study in the European Columbus space laboratory that is part of the International Space Station.
The video is sped up 30 times. It shows Thomas preparing for an oxygen-monitoring session. Thomas wears a mask that measures the amount of oxygen absorbed for 20 to 50 minutes at a time. During the session Thomas is not allowed to move but can watch a film or read a book.
The ENERGY experiment lasts 11 days and looks at the energy expenditure of astronauts during a long spaceflight. It is a complicated experiment that started before Thomas’ spaceflight and will continue when he is back on Earth. Many physiology experiments run like this so researchers can record the differences between living on Earth and in space.
Thomas has to eat a specific menu for the first two days of this experiment and then for the next nine days register everything he eats with bar codes so scientists know exactly what he eats.
In addition, Thomas will drink water with deuterium isotopes and regularly collect water and urine samples. The isotopes allow scientists to examine how the energy levels change.
Lastly all Thomas’ movements are recorded during the experiment using an ‘activity monitor’ placed on his upper arm.
Thomas is spending six months on the International Space Station as part of his Proxima mission. During Proxima, Thomas will perform around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners.
The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.
Connect with Thomas Pesquet: http://thomaspesquet.esa.int