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ISS Crew Answers: Expedition Six

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPettit's answers 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Bowersox's answers
Don Pettit's Answers 
Image: Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit
*Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit answered these questions via e-mail.

No. 11
From: RaeJean Myers, Martinsville, Ind., Age: 55

Question: Does it feel different sneezing in space or in a non-gravity environment than it does on Earth?

Pettit: Sneezing is not so different. However, your head-sinus system tends to stay more congested in weightlessness. You get use to this feeling and do not even notice it after awhile.

No. 12
From: Matthew Dorty, Detroit, Mich., Age: 14

Question: How do you get water in space?

Pettit: We bring water with us in 10-gallon water bags or save the water created from the hydrogen fuel cells when the space shuttle is docked. Progress vehicles also bring water in tanks.

No. 13
From: Mary Studebaker, Dayton, Ohio, Age: 30

Question: How do you keep your muscles in shape so that when you return you are able to function in your normal way? I guess what my curiosity is how your muscle-skeletal system reacts to so much anti-gravity time. Thanks-MPS

Pettit: We do scheduled exercise for two hours per day, including bicycling, running, and weight lifting using special designed equipment for weightlessness.

No. 14
From: Jessica, London, England, Age: 23

Question: In the spacecraft, how do you remove CO2 from the air, and how do you produce enough O2? I read about experiments using algae in the 1960s.

Pettit: We remove CO2 using a zeolite adsorption bed and regenerate this bed with heat and vacuum of space. We produce our oxygen from electrolysis of water and vent the hydrogen to space.

No. 15
From: Rick DeNatale, Wake Forest, N.C., Age: 51

Question: I was fascinated watching Don Pettit repairing his wristwatch. I'm a modeler and was jealous that there was no chance to drop tiny parts on the floor. Just what kind of watch was that?

Pettit: That was an Omega Speedmaster. I think it is much easier to handle small parts like screws in gravity than in weightlessness. Refrigerators are a different story.

No. 16
From: Ellen Rubinstein, Holmdel, N.J., Age: 48

Question: Which of the science experiments do you think shows the greatest promise for improvement in processing on Earth?

Pettit: Ellen: This is a tough question to answer before such experiments are made. I think history shows us that it is best to execute a wide variety of experiments. Often times many of the most promising ones yield little and some of the more arcane ones prove most useful. I think we should continue with as wide a variety of experiments as we have resources to handle. Take care

No. 17
From: Armando Azua, Santiago, Chile, Age: 32

Question: Are experiments with plants being carried out now at the ISS? If yes, what species are being used and for what purposes?

Pettit: We have a few basic plant growth experiments using tomatoes.

No. 18
From: Bo Sandstrom, Stockholm, Sweden, Age: 45

Question: Do you perform any astronomical observations from the ISS?

Pettit: We have been recording wide field astrophotography images which by now should be on the Expedition 6 website. [See Don Pettit's Space Chronicles for videos.]

No. 19
From: Bob Williams, Quitman, Texas, Age: 61

Question: Having watched Dr. Pettit's thin film experiment, I am wondering what would happen to the swirls of color if another variable, heat, were added to one side of the loop.

Pettit: Bob: Funny you should ask. I just downlinked video showing marangoni convection in these thin films. The heat from a flashlight was sufficient to drive the convection. A soldering iron drove even stronger convection. Stay tuned for these results to show up on NASA Select and the Web site. Take care. [See Don Pettit's Space Chronicles for videos.]

No. 20
From: Don Jones, St. Augustine, Fla., Age: 47

Question: Do you guys get to listen to your own music? If so, how: CDs, mp3 player, radio, xm-radio?

Pettit: We have small CD players with earphones and can each bring up a few CDs. There is also the beginnings of a CD library from folks who have left theirs.

Send a question to MCC or the CrewPettit's answers 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Bowersox's answers

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 05/01/2003
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