And some background on Bowman. He is very smart, but is a generalist rather than a specialist, which is why he was chosen for the spaceflight.
All hail the supersmart generalist.
And more tech nerd description/enthusing about how the ship is put together and everything is planned and in its place.
When his work is done, Bowman reads about explorers and likes the Odyssey; he'd be happy to be in a book named after it, presumably.
Bowman and Poole have girlfriends back on earth, but you never find out their names or anything about them. Odysseus traveled for years to return to his wife Penelope; Bowman doesn't really care at all about whatever-her-name-might-be.
And the astronauts hope that nothing changes the monotony of their routine. That's foreshadowing, also. If you missed it.