Commander Peggy Whitson is now aboard the International Space Station – we can see her in the photo above in one of her most glamorous and fetching space ensembles looking, um, like the robot from Lost in Space. That’s her on the right.
The NASA website account of the changeover between Expeditions is as detailed and dry as always; the reality of life in space is endless grinding detail and routine. But of course the unexpected does sometimes happen. In Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter’s splendid novel Time’s Eye, the crew of the ISS are jolted out of their usual routine when the Earth is subject to a massive time dislocation which causes Mission Control to vanish, and compels the crew of the ISS to make a hazardous landing without any assistance, only to find themselves confronted by the massed hordes of Genghis Khan’s army.
It is, I reluctantly concede, very unlikely that Peggy and her gang will face a similar plight. (Although if they do, we won’t know about it… We’ll be the ones who are obliterated!) But in the real world, things are usually dull most of the time; that’s why we read novels.
Still, it’s reassuring to see the ordinary, workaday business of space going on…and I will in this blog keep popping in to see how Expedition 16 are faring.
All photographs reproduced by kind permission of NASA.
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