Astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alex Gerst continue enacting the real-life space buddy-movie we never knew we always wanted. From sticking a video camera inside a water bubble in microgravity to carefully measuring out their living quarters, they supply a steady stream of surreal reality from the space station.
SpaceX seems to be a source of delight for our astronauts, as they gleefully embraced the Dragon's name as justification for projecting personality on the cargo carrier during the recent delivery run. While Wiseman teased that it wasn't every day he woke up to being chased by a dragon, Gerst had a more poetic response:
What happens when you put a video camera inside a water bubble in microgravity? As good scientists should, Gerst and Wiseman found out through direct experimentation, sharing their observations with this Vine from space. Make sure to have sound on to enjoy the acoustic distortion to go along with the fun-house-mirror optical refraction:
When a bolt stuck on an experiment, Gerst engaged in some clever improvisation to work around the problem:
He then explained that by coating the blade in shaving cream, the bolt shavings stuck to the blade, avoiding contaminating the air.
Working in space is all about this kind of improvisation. Unlike on Earth where no matter how temporarily aggravating, we can pop out to buy an adapter for mismatched joints, on the station astronauts need to hack together connections out of whatever they have handy. For instance, this square peg for a round hole:
One of my favourite parts of astronauts sharing their experiences on the space station is the everyday moments of utter alienness. Gotta say, down here on Earth I have never once woke up to discover an inexplicable knot of metal tools floating in the hall:
Astronauts are the champions of microliving in small spaces:
No cramped, small space is complete without a few lazy roommates. On the station, that role is filled by empty space suits that embody unhealthy degrees of personality. Apparently Gerst is the only one who heard that it was Hawaiian Shirt Friday on the station.
The up side is that if an astronaut does let out an involuntary shriek when bumping into a looming empty suit during the station's already-creepy nights, at least they won't go anywhere:
Empty suits aren't the only things playing tricks on their imaginations. When Wiseman was once again being captivated by the beauty of lightning seen from above, he asked if anyone else was seeing patterns in the flashes of light:
They also pursue more traditional recreation, like this modified version of ping-pong:
Even everyday tasks like getting dressed is more complicated than reasonable prior to morning coffee:
Luckily, the coffee delivery service is excellent (and will get even better in a few months with the incoming espresso machine!):
No roundup of astronaut-Tweeting is complete without a healthy dose of breathtaking, awe-inspiring photography of our delicate sphere of water, air, rock, and life:
Wiseman and Gerst have been on the station with Max Suraev since May, and have recently been joined by new arrivals Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova, and Barry Wilmore.