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Is 100 the right number?

Astronaut Sally Ride and the Burden of Being The First. 'Tampons were packed with their strings connecting them, like a strip of sausages, so they wouldn’t float away. Engineers asked Ride, “Is 100 the right number?” She would be in space for a week. “That would not be the right number,” she told them. At every turn, her difference was made clear to her. When it was announced Ride had been named to a space flight mission, her shuttle commander, Bob Crippen, who became a lifelong friend and colleague, introduced her as “undoubtedly the prettiest member of the crew.” At another press event, a reporter asked Ride how she would react to a problem on the shuttle: “Do you weep?”'
posted by kmz on Jul 1, 2014 - 95 comments

Godspeed, Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter has died at 88. As the commander of Aurora 7 in 1962, Carpenter was the second Mercury astronaut to orbit the Earth. He is best known for having wished his friend John Glenn "Godspeed" as the latter launched into orbit. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Oct 10, 2013 - 61 comments

Unfulfilled dreams have a way of playing tricks on you....

Rob Meline always dreamed of being an astronaut. He became a teacher instead. But the beloved faculty member at Camas Prairie Elementary in Spanaway, Washington kept a family secret. When he fell victim to it in October 2012, he became the symbol of a flawed judicial system. What his students did next was out of this world.
posted by zarq on Oct 4, 2013 - 43 comments

Made in Space!

"It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers [that are] found here on the International Space Station."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 29, 2013 - 37 comments

Just another day at the office...

A few weeks ago, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano (@astro_luca) almost drowned during a spacewalk when his helmet started uncontrollably filling with water, possibly from a leaky spacesuit cooling system. (See previous MeFi discussion on the incident.) A week later, his fellow ISS astronaut Chris Cassidy posted two videos online showing the actual spacesuit and using it to illustrate the problem. All future US and European spacewalks have been halted while the incident is being investigated, although the Russian ones are continuing, as they use different suits. Yesterday, Luca published a scary new entry on his in-orbit blog, where he not only gave all the horror-movie details, but also revealed that he nearly chose to depressurize his suit outside the ISS in order to survive.
posted by Asparagirl on Aug 21, 2013 - 49 comments

Back when a textile factory worker had the right stuff

Fifty years ago today, Valentina Tereshkova became the first textile factory worker, first civilian and of course first woman in space. She completed 48 orbits, in the process amassing more space time than any of the American astronauts had logged. It would be almost twenty years before a second female astronaut got into space, slightly more than that for the first American woman. In total, fiftyseven women have flown into space, or roughly ten percent of the total number of astronauts.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 16, 2013 - 14 comments

The Welsh Space Campaign

The Welsh Space Campaign. The suit is made of the fabric woven in the last remaining wool mills in Wales. The astronaut boots are traditional Welsh clogs crafted by a traditional clog maker. The whole pressure system that will enable the astronaut to sustain life in outer space was built by a Welsh plumber. The aim of the designer is to reveal that Wales has the capacity to explore space, and to show that off-world culturalisation can be achieved through a collective communitarian effort; as a way to allow the people involved to reconsider their role and skill in relation to these cosmic contexts. -- We Make Money Not Art
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Jun 10, 2013 - 15 comments

the composer of the future meets the city of the future

In 1985, Houston was preparing for a party: 1986 marked the city's 150th birthday, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Texas, and 25 years since the opening of NASA's Johnson Space Center, the hub around which the city's aerospace industry blossomed. In comes French synthesizer pioneer Jean Michel Jarre, the "composer of the future", known for his spectacular 1979 Bastille Day show that attracted a million people to Place de la Concorde, and for being the first Western musician to play China in 1981. With the Space Shuttle Challenger due to take off on mission STS-51-L in January, Jarre penned a piece for Mission Specialist and saxophonist Ron McNair to record in space. The nation watched as McNair and his crewmates prepared for their journey and waved goodbye, only to perish in a haunting and iconic explosion. As Houston mourned the loss of the seven crew, who called the city home during their preparation for spaceflight, Jarre wasn't sure if the upcoming festivities should be held, but was convinced by astronaut Bruce McCandless that the show must go on. On April 5, 1986, 1.5 million people gathered downtown to witness Rendez-vous Houston, a massive tribute to America's pioneering spirit that used the city as its backdrop. [more inside]
posted by avocet on May 14, 2013 - 19 comments

"Ring it Out"

Last fall, the Canadian Space Agency asked students to design a simple science experiment that could be performed in space, using items already available aboard the International Space Station. Today, Commander Chris Hadfield conducted the winner for its designers: two tenth grade students, Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner, in a live feed to their school in Fall River, Nova Scotia. And now, we finally have an answer to the age-old question, What Happens When You Wring Out A Washcloth In Space? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 18, 2013 - 63 comments

Swimming with Spacemen

How astronauts train for spacewalks in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory [more inside]
posted by get off of my cloud on Mar 4, 2013 - 5 comments

Gorgeous photos of earth tweeted from the International Space Station

Commander Chris Hadfield (previously!) and Thomas Marshburn are tweeting photos they are taking from the ISS. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Jan 12, 2013 - 22 comments

Check out my space station crib

Astronaut, and Expedition 33 Commander, Sunita Williams gives a tour of the International Space Station.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 18, 2012 - 27 comments

Astronaut Art

Alienation by Graziano Panfili. Aeronauts by Vincent Mattina. Animal astronauts by rubbishmonkey. [First two Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 6, 2012 - 9 comments

Fetch, NASA, Fetch!

Veteran astronaut Tom Jones thinks NASA should nab an asteroid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 21, 2012 - 27 comments

Physics Demos that are Out of this World

Science off the Sphere is a video series by Don Pettit aboard the ISS showing off the neat things you can do in zero-gravity. [more inside]
posted by quin on May 31, 2012 - 13 comments

I am zucchini - and I am in space.

Bloggernaut Don Pettit brings you Astro-Z in Zero-G: The Diary of a Space Zucchini.
posted by Laminda on Apr 3, 2012 - 4 comments

Astronaut with a camera - an amazing combination

Dutch astronaut and physician André Kuipers brought his camera aboard the International Space Station and took some photos in his spare time, the results are breathtaking. [more inside]
posted by quin on Mar 29, 2012 - 36 comments

Video of aurora from orbit

Auroras Underfoot is a short documentary about auroras by NASA, which uses high-definition images taken by International Space Station science officer Don Pettit of aurora from orbit. Pettit writes about the difficulties of taking photographs from orbit and other subjects on his blog.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 19, 2012 - 6 comments

Frequent travel may be required

NASA is hiring new astronaut candidates. Positions are open for all qualified U.S. citizens. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 15, 2011 - 122 comments

Astronauts who got creative about their experiences

Over 500 people have traveled into outer space. While many have written books about the experience, only a few have used more creative means to express what they saw and felt. Here are a few: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 9, 2011 - 13 comments

What Yuri Gagarin Saw

First Orbit. "On 12th April 2011 it will be 50 years to the day since Yuri Gagarin climbed into his space ship and was launched into space. It took him just 108 minutes to orbit Earth and he returned as the World's very first space man. To mark this historic flight we have teamed up with the astronauts onboard the International Space Station to film a new view of what Yuri would have seen as he travelled around the planet. Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World on this historic anniversary." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 11, 2011 - 32 comments

And a great big blue sky below

32 images of the earth from the blackness of space, many with spacewalking astronauts in the foreground, presented in a Big Picture style. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 7, 2011 - 34 comments

Cory McAbee's odd creative output

I totally overlooked The American Astronaut (2001) and perhaps others did too? Musician and indie filmmaker Cory McAbee has a history as a huge misshapen head, has been to Reno, been a lounge act for the seedier offworld colonies, been smuggling illegal female embryos for the Jovian mining concerns, & been a father. [more inside]
posted by billb on Sep 2, 2010 - 28 comments

Space Project

Space Project from photographer Vincent Fournier. "Playing on the stylised notion of a sci-fi utopia, Fournier’s otherworldly photographs of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and the Atacama Desert Observatories in Chile – alongside a series of surprisingly stringy trainee astronauts - offer an alternative view of the world, unseen by many and known by few."
posted by puny human on Jul 18, 2010 - 11 comments

You have 25 minutes to save Moonbase Alpha

Year: 2025. Mission: Save Moonbase Alpha after critical systems were damaged by a meteor strike. A free Steam-powered 3D-immersive game from NASA. Windows only.
posted by jjray on Jul 8, 2010 - 44 comments

awwwwwww

Crater face: "Astronaut risks life and limb to bring two moon pimples together for love."
posted by DZack on May 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Falta unas cuantas horas para el despegue! Que bonito se siente!!!

José Hernández was a migrant worker when he first started to dream about becoming an astronaut. He is the first astronaut to Twitter in Spanish from space on shuttle mission STS-128. NASA wasn't happy about the controversy he caused when he advocated for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He is not the first Hispanic-American to fly on the space shuttle. Hernández is a national hero in Mexico and has been invited to dine with President Calderon.
posted by desjardins on Sep 24, 2009 - 15 comments

Circling the lonely moon by yourself, the loneliest person in the universe, weren't you lonely?

Astronaut Michael Collins"I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied."
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 28, 2009 - 60 comments

Twits in space

Astronaut Mike Massimino is twittering his experiences today, as he undergoes preparations for launch to the Hubble Space Telescope. He is supposed to keep up the updates during the entire mission.
posted by Catfry on May 11, 2009 - 44 comments

Vampire Lincoln meets Zombie Platypus

The Official Creebobby Comics Archetype Times Table
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Mar 10, 2009 - 19 comments

"Gravity pretty much is irrelevant"

Does a boomerang thrown in space return to its pitcher? It does indeed. [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 1, 2008 - 62 comments

Space, to lick the very fuzzy navel of the heavens

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 25, 2008 - 25 comments

Video and photos of spacewalks

The environment does terrible things to the human body and it smells. Many people go for that walk anyway. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 10, 2008 - 32 comments

Fly me to the moon!

Astronaut Candidate Program. "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces the opportunity to apply for the position of Astronaut Candidate to support the International Space Station (ISS) Program." [more inside]
posted by banshee on Dec 17, 2007 - 25 comments

Yes, their job is cooler than yours.

Astronauts in Space, the music video.
posted by blue_beetle on Nov 14, 2007 - 8 comments

One small step for Man, One Giant Leap For WomanKind.

Astronaut Sunita Williams (more links to pictures on the bottom right hand corner) returns to her ancestral hometown of Ahmedabad, India, after breaking multiple records in Space, where she stayed for a duration of 194 days, ran the Boston Marathon, and Space Walked for 22 hours and 27 minutes.
posted by hadjiboy on Sep 21, 2007 - 24 comments

A Tribute to a Friend, and A Plea

Even Astronauts Commit Suicide. Former Navy doctor, astronaut and Space Shuttle mission specialist, ham radio operator, and one time flight surgeon of The Blue Angels, Dr. Chuck Brady, was denied a hip replacement by the Navy shortly before he took his own life in July, 2006, and, according to his friend Dr. Ed Drum, this was a pivotal point in the depression that led Dr. Brady to apparently take his own life. [more inside]
posted by paulsc on Sep 20, 2007 - 35 comments

RIP Wally Schirra

RIP Wally Schirra, 1923-2007. One of the original Mercury Seven "Right Stuff" astronauts (just two left now), Schirra flew on Sigma 7, Gemini 7, and Apollo 7. From there on, it's stationkeeping.
posted by brownpau on May 3, 2007 - 50 comments

Astronaut Rock

Max Q, named after the aeronautical engineering term, is the only astronaut rock band (but not the only musical astronauts). Not to be confused with the barbershop quartet.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 23, 2007 - 7 comments

Astronaut charged with kidnap attempt

Astronaut charged with kidnap attempt. It's current, it's for real, and each paragraph is weirder than the last.
posted by NortonDC on Feb 5, 2007 - 206 comments

Letters....from SPACE!

Have you ever wondered what cosmonauts eat? What ISS astronauts do all day? What we can see from orbit? Ed Lu, The first American to launch and land on a Soyuz spacecraft, kept what is arguably the first space blog while spending an 184 days on the International Space Station with cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko in 2003.
posted by muddgirl on Dec 18, 2006 - 21 comments

The ups and downs of helium

LBJ and the helium filled astronaut. In 1964, the Skylab project wanted to send a phone call to the president. They had a hard time convincing the operators to put the call through. (g2 real audio link from npr) But today, 2 college students in florida discovered that helium can be dangerous.
posted by pyramid termite on Jun 4, 2006 - 24 comments

'The search for the perfect suit continues...'

Space Suits
posted by anastasiav on Jan 9, 2006 - 18 comments

NASA soundtracks

Ignition sequence starts ... A spoken word documentary album of the flight of Apollo 11 to the moon. Dramatic - evocative - the right stuff. Provided by Hepcat Willy.
posted by carter on Sep 13, 2005 - 9 comments

Godspeed, Dr. Kalpana Chawla.

Godspeed, Dr. Kalpana Chawla. But how will India replace a girl like you? In Karnal, India, where this fallen Columbia astronaut was born, it is rarer -- and more dangerous -- to be a female fetus than a real live girl space shuttle jock. Statistics suggest that the state has taken the cruel art of sex selection, in which female fetuses are aborted, to new heights. Among children under 6, it has 820 girls for every 1,000 boys according to the 2001 census. (NY Times link)
posted by jellybuzz on Feb 3, 2003 - 19 comments

Homepages of the insane and ridiculous

Home page of Franz Stephan Strambach (translated to english) and his page about astronaut Resnik, also known as "the guy that threatened to slam a stolen plane into Frankfurt's tallest buildings" a few days back.
posted by mathowie on Jan 6, 2003 - 14 comments

Yuri's Night

Yuri's Night is more than 100 parties on the same night around the world, on every continent including Antarctica, April 12, 2002. What's to celebrate? The 41st anniversary of the suborbital flight of Yuri Gagarin, and the 21st anniversary of the first space shuttle flight, a fitting tribute to two great space milestones. Is there a party in your city? Set one up! I only read about last year's (initiated for the 40th/20th), but I'm going to try to go this year. There are, of course, even moe 40th anniversaries of significant space events to come. [tip o' the hat to Rand Simberg, who has even more provocative stuff in his FoxNews.com column -- like relocating Israel to the Moon. And he's serious.]
posted by dhartung on Apr 4, 2002 - 9 comments

Who Wants to be a Cosmonaut? Contestants on Ancient Astronaut will battle to win a trip on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and a possible visit to the International Space Station (ISS). Where do I sign up? I don't care if Travel Makes you Stupid.
posted by Geo on Dec 10, 2001 - 1 comment

"Having flown around the earth in the first satellite I saw how beautiful our planet is, let us not destroy it!"

"Having flown around the earth in the first satellite I saw how beautiful our planet is, let us not destroy it!"

Remembering Yuri Gagarin, 40 years on.
posted by holgate on Apr 11, 2001 - 8 comments


Which would you rather be, a space shuttle astronaut or a technician on board the International Space Station?

Which would you rather be, a space shuttle astronaut or a technician on board the International Space Station? I know my answer.
posted by grumblebee on Dec 7, 2000 - 8 comments

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