Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit answered these questions
Trenkler, New York, N.Y., Age: 28
What time is being used in the International Space Station, UTC/Greenwich
Mean Time? Is the time being followed due to sleeping times or times
of major work/projects?
We use GMT, which is handy for international efforts between many
Breit, Sacramento, Calif., Age: 42
During an EVA, are there devices in your helmet that will take care
of itches, sneezing and hydration?
We have a drink bag and straw and a valsalva device to clear our
ears. We cannot scratch our noses.
Madrid, Spain, Age: 23
What is the most interesting experiment or work that you have done
on the ISS?
Our observations of auroras are the most interesting to me.
Madwin, Fremont, Calif., Age: 47
How much difference is there between the Russian Sokol launch and
entry suit and the Orlan EVA suit?
The Sokol suit is meant for launch and entry and uses the life support
systems from the Soyuz spacecraft. The Orlan is a self-contained
spacesuit that allows for spacewalks.
Merritt Island, Fla., Age: 22
When you do spacewalks based from the ISS, what kind of spacesuit
is used, the Russian version of the EVA suits? Or have some of the
space shuttle EVA suits been permanently assigned to the ISS?
We can use either U.S. or Russian suits, depending on the tasks.
All spacesuits have limited life so they are not permanently assigned
to space station.
David Griffith, Dallas, Texas, Age: 54
What analytical instruments, such as chromatographs, spectrophotometers
and viscometers, are currently onboard the ISS? Did they need modification
We have a mass spectrometer, a gas chromatograph, freezers, ultrasound
probe, accelerometers, and more on their way to orbit.
A. West, Martinez, Calif., Age: 54
As a former P-3 air crewman, I'm interested in your safety procedures.
For instance, do you conduct on-orbit emergency drills such as explosive
or rapid decompression, penetrating impact of a module, evacuating
a segment, etc.?
We have safety drill practice every month including fire, depressurization,
and medical emergency.
Fitzgerald, Seal Beach, Calif., Age: 35
Dad says hello. My dad was one of your teachers at Oregon State
University. My question is how do you avoid losing bone mass when
being up in space for quite some time?
So far, the only known way to reduce the bone density loss is to
place stresses on your skeletal system on a daily basis. We do this
by doing two hours of physical exercise per day, including running
on a treadmill, stationary bicycle, and a resistance “weightlifting”
device that uses rubber bands instead of pig iron. I am still working
with your dad on CO2 and plants, and he does literature searches
for me while I am on space station. Take care.
Bernhardt, Plano, Texas, Age: 57
When you're on the treadmill, where are the weights placed? How
is it determined how much weight you use? If the weight is not the
same as you weighed on Earth, will you increase the weight until
it is the same about the time you'll be returning to Earth?
We use rubber bands to hold us down on the track for the treadmill.
Stronczek, Vancouver, Wash., Age: 56
Based on the pictures of Don Pettit, it appears that you shave in
space. If so, how do you contain the materials?
We use either a safety razor that contains the whiskers in the shaving
cream, or an electric razor that captures the whiskers inside the
head. I vacuum my razor out once a week.