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Astronaut learns need for organization

U.S. astronaut David Wolf, who arrived on the Mir space station last month with vast amounts of luggage, says he has quickly learned the need for organization in space.

"Every item you touch just floats off if you don't Velcro it, or strap it down, or bungee it in place," he wrote in an e-mail received by Reuters on Wednesday. "Great, my long-lost - and invaluable - electric shaver just floated by.""The first place to look for lost items is in one of the air filters. A bowling ball would find its way there in zero gravity," he wrote. "Unfortunately it's an obstacle course on the way and a lot of items don't make it all the way."

Among the things Wolf said he brought for his four-month orbit on the Russian space station were:

"One hundred fifty film cans, 25 cassette tapes, 25 CDs, 40 sets of clothes, two cameras, 20 lenses, over 1,000 components of scientific gear, . . . four months of food, 30 packs of no rinse shampoo, 60 more of body soap, razor blades, bottle of whiskey (just checking if you are sill reading), and literally six tons more."

"The organizational/inventory task alone is daunting," he said in his light-hearted missive from space.

Wolf brought up six computers "not counting the one we delivered for Mir, which is working flawlessly, knock on wood," he wrote in the message, which was also sent to others on Earth.

Cosmonauts on the 11-year-old Mir changed an important section of its main computer last week after three breakdowns in September.