One of today's lectures was our first introduction to the schedule that we well follow while on the station. We have a huge amount of work to get through when we arrive, and the smoother we can fit into the existing station routine the better.
It's amazing to think that there are three human beings up there every hour of every day. Right now there are three guys living on station, working on the equipment itself and on scientific experiments that are part of their long-duration flights. They are typically there for four to six months at a time. For most of that trip they won't see another human being. The crew that is up there right now has been there since December and we will be the first people they see, in April.
The purpose of the lecture was to familiarize Roberto and me with the normal working routine. Yuri has already spent six months up there as a member of the first station crew, so there's no need for him to be part of such a class. We also invited Karl Prince, one of the crack Capetonians working on the project here in Russia and the man who will be my Flight Activities Officer (FAO) to sit in on the lecture. Karl will be coordinating the detailed daily schedule of science and comms activities so it will be critical for him to understand exactly how the station timetable works and how best to integrate our program with the ongoing crew program.