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  Work day (hours) on the space station

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Author Topic:   Work day (hours) on the space station
ASCAN1984
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Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-23-2012 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It never occurred to me to ask this before but, what are the on orbit working arrangements in terms of hours? Do astronauts and cosmonauts get a set amount of hours per day or is it more a case of a checklist sent up each day and the housekeeping factored in and when it's done its done.

Are their such things as days off? Can't imagine even if they do exist that astronauts would not choose to work them or part of them.

pokey
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Posts: 345
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-26-2012 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are the schedules they try to stick to each day.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-26-2012 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ASCAN1984:
Do astronauts and cosmonauts get a set amount of hours per day or is it more a case of a checklist sent up each day and the housekeeping factored in and when it's done its done.
My understanding is that it is a bit of both — for some tasks, especially those that require ground support, time is scheduled in advance. For others, the crew member has some freedom to fit into their own schedule.

And yes, the crew has days off — in fact, they generally are off-duty during the weekends. They are also granted off days after particularly busy periods, such as after a visiting vehicle docking.

The crew can, and has in the past, opted to use this time to get ahead on some of their tasks, but they also use it to catch up on personal e-mail, calls to home, and earth watching...

onesmallstep
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Posts: 508
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 11-26-2012 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow! What a difference from the 'revolt' stemming from workday complaints by the Skylab 3 crew. How times-and technology-have changed.

Max Q
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Posts: 381
From: Whyalla South Australia
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 11-26-2012 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Max Q   Click Here to Email Max Q     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very interesting document. I am assuming that pre-sleep means free time to wind down after a hard days weightlessness, but what is meant by Reaction Self Test?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-26-2012 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pre-sleep includes dinner preparation, eating and hygiene.

Reaction Self Test is a science experiment:

The Psychomotor Vigilance Self Test on the International Space Station (Reaction Self Test) is a portable 5-minute reaction time task that will allow the crewmembers to monitor the daily effects of fatigue on performance while on board the International Space Station (ISS).

ASCAN1984
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Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-23-2013 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the reaction self test was code for just after you wake up getting yourself back to normal.

Strange the shift is a 6am start. Does anyone know the reason why so early?

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-24-2013 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The need for an open ended system of some sort also popped up on the Mir Shuttle scheduling as well since the astronauts who were spending time on the station had to follow a set daily form schedule that was pre-approved by the Russians and NASA ahead of time (with Roscosmos being a stickler for that procedure, probably just because they knew it would annoy the Americans). After two or three astronauts (up through Linenger anyway) got fed up with it since the ground's tight scheduling had them going around the old station stashed with 10 years of clutter looking for parts of an experiment that some manifest SAID was up there but had NOT been found for months on end, pressure was exerted and the Russians backed off.

The alteration of the procedure also happened at about the time of the fire on Linenger's watch and the Progress collision on Foale's flight, so at that point the Russians relaxed their posture a little when they pretty much realized they needed NASA to help get them out of a bind. But another reason why the problems cropped up is even with the Skylab experience, by that point nobody in NASA was really familiar with what went on two decades earlier. Another problem was not many JSC workers or contractors really wanted to go to Russia to spend several months supporting astronauts on consoles, so a few that were sent were a bit unprepared for what happened. Plus, NASA at the time was also still geared more for the tight "2 week" shuttle mission focus where EVERYTHING is tightly scheduled because the mission is relatively short by station standards. As the Russians knew and the Americans quickly re-learned though, a space station mission is a marathon, not a sprint.

As it has been explained to me, once ISS astronauts are up to speed (usually after six weeks where occupants know the most efficient way to move, where everything is, their crewmates etc...), they tend to like doing the get ahead tasks since when newcomers arrive (either new ISS crewmembers or other visitors such as a shuttle crew) their own scheduling is naturally going to fall behind since the newcomers aren't as up to speed.

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