April 12, 2007

Slava's Soviet Space Day of Birth

Today is April 12, Slava's Birthday and the Russian SPACE day!
In honor of my astronaut, I present

"Slava's Day in Space"

It's 1:00 p.m. in Moscow—though Slava may be up to 300 miles over New York—and a new day is beginning. Slava dresses in his Mir uniform—an adidas zip-up track suit over a wife beater—and pulls himself through the module, named Kvant-2, to the Transfer Node that links to the other five modules. A ninety-degree-turn in the Node, and Slava floats into the Base Block, the main module, where his colleagues—two Russian cosmonauts, Brian Kenny & Laika (the space pitbull) —have woken to the same alarm. They have already dressed and used the Personal Hygiene Area, so Slava enters it, uses the water-recycling toilet, spends another hour or so brushing, shaving, flossing, showering and douching, and joins them in the main cabin.

Slava says good morning and talks a bit, mostly in English, and then everyone dons headsets for the first communications pass, or "comm pass," of the day. Once every orbit—about every 90 minutes—while passing over one of the communications ground sites in Russia, Slava talks to mission control. The Russian speaks with his supervisors, and talks to the NASA flight director, AA Bronson, who is at Russian mission control. He is coordinating the activities whose experiments Slava's running.

Slava discusses how his experiments are going, receives instructions from the scientists whose projects he's working on, and exchanges any other information necessary. These comm passes also provides Slava with welcome 10-minute breaks during his work day, giving him a few minutes to fuck his colleague Brian.

After the morning's first comm pass, it's time for breakfast. The three of them eat croissants with ham, cheese and avocado, floating around the galley table in Base Block. Slava may then have a bag of Russian Borscht, and a bag of double Jasmin Tea, both of which Slava "cooks" out of dehydration with hot water, as he does with most of his food.

After breakfast and taking Laika (the Space pitbull) for a space walk, the work day begins. While Brian spends most of their day maintaining Mir's systems, Slava gets to work on experiments. Today's experiments include updating the Space Blog, perparing slavamogutin.com for launch, and taking satellite pictures of sexy earth boys down below.

Having orbited Earth a few more times, it's time to link up with the US Space Shuttle to have dinner with fellow astronauts Robert, Dominic, Nick, Marcelo, Jason, Eli, Tim, Bec, Malcolm, Chistophe, Gio and Billy. Robert makes delicious homo-made pizzas and everyone gets drunk sipping their wine bags.

Then it's back to Mir where Slava and Brian and Laika cuddle up a Space Bag to sleep and dream of tomorrow's new adventures in Space.


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