German astronaut Matthias Maurer has marked his 100th day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by sharing a photo of himself inside the orbiting outpost’s Cupola module.
The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut arrived at the ISS aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft with three crewmates in November 2021.
In a lighthearted tweet marking the first 100 days of what will be a six-month mission, ESA summed up Maurer’s stay so far, writing:
“That’s 100 days of:
– being poked/prodded for science
– running experiments
– maintaining the @Space_Station
– taking photos of Earth
– recording ISS tours & more! How he’s keepin’ it 100”
#ICYMI @astro_matthias marked 100 days in space for #CosmicKiss 🎉 That's 100 days of:
💉being poked/prodded for science
🔩maintaining the @Space_Station
📸taking photos of 🌍
📹 recording ISS tours & more! How he's keepin' it 100 👉 https://t.co/XYmskVcPqs pic.twitter.com/Rgqp5O59mD
— Human Spaceflight (@esaspaceflight) February 25, 2022
The photo shows Maurer inside the station’s seven-window Cupola, a key part of the ISS that offers astronauts expansive views of the orbital facility, Earth, and beyond.
The module also allows astronauts to monitor and assist spacecraft approaching and departing the space station, and is also a useful vantage point for keeping an eye on spacewalks outside the ISS.
As ESA points out, Maurer has been keeping busy during what is his first-ever space mission.
Besides working on scientific projects and all the other serious stuff that astronauts have to get on with, life on the space station also involves the kind of chores experienced by many folks back on terra firma, though the microgravity conditions mean they’re performed in a slightly different way than on Earth.
Maurer recently had a haircut, for example, a process that involves connecting a trimmer to a vacuum cleaner’s hose to ensure the cut hair doesn’t float off and cause problems on the station by getting in astronauts’ eyes or clogging up vents.
We’ve also seen Maurer working out using some of the space station’s fitness equipment, with such activities vital for maintaining muscle mass and bone density in the challenging microgravity conditions. Astronauts on the habitable satellite are required to take two hours of physical exercise each and every day during a mission.
Maurer also plays his part in keeping the space station clean, though using a vacuum cleaner in space looks like a lot more fun than it does on Earth, where gravity results in a rather more mundane experience.
Untangling a headphone wire, on the hand, looks just as annoying as it does on Earth.
Maurer and his three Crew-3 colleagues are set to return to Earth toward the end of April 2022.
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