Samantha Cristoforetti is an European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer and polyglot, fluent in Italian, English, German, French and Russian. She is also the first Italian woman in space and cheerfully tweeting and taking photos from the International Space Station.
Astronaut Marsha Ivins describes her experiences: prelaunch, launch, and zero-g: "It’s a mix of the transcendently magical and the deeply prosaic."
Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how zero gravity makes it possible to take sharp, hand-held long exposures.
While on ISS, astronaut Reid Wiseman captured and tweeted a picture that captured night time picture of the Gulf of Thailand, including a vast area of green lights, distinct from the white, yellow and orange lights of adjacent cities. Reid wrote "Bangkok is the bright city. The green lights outside the city? No idea… " but others did know: it was many fishing boats with green fishing light attractors. [more inside]
"It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers [that are] found here on the International Space Station."
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.
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]
Commander Chris Hadfield (previously!) and Thomas Marshburn are tweeting photos they are taking from the ISS. [more inside]
Astronaut, and Expedition 33 Commander, Sunita Williams gives a tour of the International Space Station.
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]
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]
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]
The environment does terrible things to the human body and it smells. Many people go for that walk anyway. [more inside]
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]
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.