Fast-Track to Orbit: Expedition 36/37
A Russian Soyuz capsule launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Glorious Kazakhstan this afternoon, carrying U.S. astronaut (and space veteran/mechanical engineer) Karen Nyberg along with cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and Italian astronauta Luca Parmitano to their rendezvous with the ISS. They will spend a mere six hours catching up with the space station before they dock later tonight, a new pedal-to-the-metal path to orbit recently adopted by ISS-bound craft. In addition to lots and lots of science, the crew of six that will be aboard the ISS will take part in the Winter Olympic torch relay later this year.
Godspeed, Expedition 36/37. Here’s to six of you being great of behalf of seven billion of us.
P.S. - Howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com is correctly showing “6”, in case you’re wondering.
Col. Chris Hadfield returns to Earth tomorrow after nearly five months in command of the International Space Station. Here are his touching personal reflections on the mission.
His stay on the ISS has captured the imagination and the curiosity of millions of people on Earth, thanks to this wonderfully interconnected world we call social media. Not only do we have the technology to send men to space for months at a time, but they can share that experience so richly with all of us.
I am truly grateful for his hard work, the hard work of people like his son Evan (who managed his dad’s Tumblr and much of his other social media) and the hard work of those who continue to support the mission. He went to space so we could ALL go to space.
Celebrate with the ten best videos from Commander Hadfield’s time aboard the ISS. I know what my favorite was (also in GIF form).
Wringing out a Washcloth on the ISS
Space Canadian Chris Hadfield continues his quest for interplanetary internet dominance with this incredible experiment submitted by two Nova Scotia high school students: Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner
They wanted to know what would happen if you wrung out a washcloth on the ISS? I won’t spoil the ending for you, but suffice to say it’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
I love how he doesn’t even have to hold the mic. Great job, Kendra and Meredith! For science!
ISS: Over the Rainbow
“Somewhere, Over the Rainbow” set to images of planet Earth as seen from the International Space Station.
All footage from NASA. Featuring the compositing talents of Knate Myers, David Peterson and Christoph Malin.
Audio: “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow” from the motion picture, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Hey folks, I’m at SXSW this weekend, broadening my horizons and testing the limits of my ideas and creativity, so it might be a little quiet for the next few days.
Hopefully this video will inspire you to broaden your horizons and expand your creativity in your own way. Stay curious!
Chris Hadfield’s Space Kitchen
Everyone’s favorite Space Canadian™ teaches you how to make a sandwich in space. Because everyone knows that if you wish to make a sandwich in space, you must first invent … bread without crumbs.
Oh wait, we’ve invented that. It’s called a tortilla, and it keeps sandwich leftovers from causing a space emergency. Looks like today’s food is a far cry from the freeze-dried tubular mush of yesteryear. A cool look inside regular life on the ISS.
Bonus fact: Salt and pepper come in liquid form in space, for obvious reasons.
What if the sun never set?
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station occasionally experience that very phenomenon, and it’s captured in the video above in all its beautiful oddness. Here’s how it works:
The ISS doesn’t travel around the Earth’s middle. Rather, it follows a near-polar orbit. As it flies along its tilted north-south path, orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes, this orbit lets it see much more of the Earth beneath it. Occasionally, it happens to travel along the line between night and day, and that’s where this cool scene unfolds.
Along Earth’s “terminator” (the line between light and dark), if you looked out the window of the ISS you’d see the Sun dip in the sky, but climb again without setting. In the video, the orbit begins east of London, then extends southward along the terminator until crossing near the South Pole. The ISS then orbits back up toward the north, hovering above the terminator in permanent daylight until it reaches a point just east of where it began.
The Earth’s terminator line:
(Video by NASACrewEarthObs)
ATTENTION folks, there is currently an astronaut posting to Tumblr from space. I repeat, there is a human being, that is currently in freakin’ SPACE, posting pictures (from said SPACE) to their Tumblr blog.
There are things, called words, that are failing me, about the other things, that I am feeling.
Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield: You sir, are cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.
(He’s also on Twitter)
As Phil Plait informs us at the link above, this gorgeous shot was taken from the International Space Station on Jan 1, 2013. That so many would desire to live in a place so beautiful, with full knowledge of the possible destruction that this active volcano could wreak on their lives (as it did less than two millennia ago), speaks volumes about us.
Sometimes when you take a picture of Earth, it can be a self-portrait of humanity itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, and that seems to trump danger and risk for a great many people.
(via Bad Astronomy)
Jewel in the Night
An original recording from the International Space Station, sung and played by Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield.
A wonderful message of peace and love dedicated to us below, on that “Jewel in the Night”, reminding us that space, and this planet, belongs to us all.