bubble

The proper name of this is ‘atmosphere-free environment working vessel,’ so it’s no wonder that everybody calls it a bubble, and the people who work in them are called bubble riders.  Like a space suit, a bubble is used for working in space. Most people prefer the bubble, because you can move around in it, scratch your face, and eat your lunch.

Despite the name, the bubble is not round, but a grey plastic cube, about 2 x 2 x 2 metres.  Inside, it has a little room, with a seat, and screens on all four sides, linked to outside cameras, so that the bubble rider can see all round.  In front of the seat is a panel, on which the bubble rider controls the tools fitted to the front of the bubble.

During our training, we squeezed into the back of a bubble, to watch a bubble rider at work.  He was amazingly skilful at manoeuvring the bubble, and using the tools.