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]
Remember the floating training remote
in Star Wars? Some people have done DIY versions of the remote
that can levitate
on your desktop. However, leave it to NASA to create the real thing and call it SPHERES: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites
: robotic bowling balls (OK, 18-sided polyhedron satellites
) with autonomous propulsion, power, avionics, software, communications, and metrology subsystems, that fly freely
in the ISS
. First tested in 2006, they have been upgraded
with Android smartphones
, which makes them (for now) the less terrifying item in Google's growing robotic arsenal
After being delivered to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX resupply mission
, the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV)
platform was activated on April 30th, providing a live HD stream of Earth for anyone to view
. [more inside]
"Like a human who just went through laser vision correction, the International Space Station (ISS) recently got a clearer view of our world
. That improved view is opening up new vistas for students in American classrooms." A gorgeous photo of British Columbia's snow-capped mountains
was the first view delivered via the Window Observational Research Facility
at the U.S. Laboratory Science Window on the International Space Station. This video explanation of the window
) is hosted by three-time shuttle veteran Mario Runco.
When can I spot the Space Station? The International Space Station can easily be spotted with the naked eye. Because of its size (110m x 100m x 30m) it reflects very much sunlight.
This simple tool will tell you all of the opportunities you can view the ISS over the next ten days, along with a brightness index and a map tracing its transit across your local sky. The red line shows where the ISS is sunlit and visible. On the blue line the ISS is in the Earth's shadow and invisible or it is less than 10° above the horizon. [more inside]
The World Outside My Window - Time Lapse of Earth from the ISS (SLYT, make sure to play it in the highest resolution you can)
Astronaut Chris Hadfield (previously
) reflects on his career, life on the International Space Station, and the challenges of returning home (as well as commercial spaceflight and the film Gravity
) in an interview with the Guardian
A few weeks ago, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano
) 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.
World's first talking robot sent into space
Japan has launched
the world's first talking robot
into space to serve as companion to astronaut Kochi Wakata who will begin his mission in November. [more inside]
“Imagine having a fishbowl on your head with a half a litre of water sticking to your face, ears and nose. Then imagine you can’t take the fishbowl off your head for a minimum of 20 minutes, feel the panic?”
ISS astronaut Luca Parmitano
developed a water leak in his helmet shortly after beginning a spacewalk,
but is fine now.
CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield discusses how senses change aboard the International Space Station: Sound
, and Touch
Today. the day after astronauts detected and repaired a "serious but not life-threatening" ammonia leak
on the space station, Commander Chris Hadfield
has passed over command of the space station
. Planet earth is blue and there's nothing left to do ... except to release this video
. Sorry, Tilda Swinton does not make an appearance. Video is suitable for all audiences. Hadfield previously on MeFi.
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]
have proclaimed the detection of "dark matter" today, but Science News has a more measured take
What we do know is that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
riding aboard the ISS has detected positrons at high energy. Some theorists suggests that dark matter collisions would generate these positrons, but dark matter annihilation should also produce antiprotons, gamma rays and radio waves, which have not yet been observed. Since dark matter
is suspected to account for far more of the universe than ordinary matter, the AMS data is a tantalizing hint of what we might learn.
How astronauts train for spacewalks in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory [more inside]
Commander Chris Hadfield
!) and Thomas Marshburn
are tweeting photos they are taking from the ISS. [more inside]
Jewel in the Night
is the first song recorded on the International Space Station. Colonel Chris Hadfield's
companions in space are both also musicians
Astronaut, and Expedition 33
Commander, Sunita Williams
gives a tour
of the International Space Station.
, famed International Space Station photographer, gives an interesting talk at Luminance 2012
about the opportunities and difficulties of shooting aboard a space station.
Framestacking ISS Video.
This is seriously cool, produced by running International Space Station videos though framestacking software, successively adding the images to produce trails of light. View full screen and smoke it if you got it.
Sarah Brightman, multi-million selling
singer, actress and songwriter, has taken her medical
and will soon start training to become the 7th or 8th
'Space Tourist', visiting the ISS in 2015. [more inside]
"It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point." Astronaut Frank Culbertson's reflections
as he orbited
on Sept. 11th, 2001.
Views from the ISS at Night (Vimeo)
- Knate Myers assembled this video from a series of time-lapse videos taken aboard the ISS. Plus, one of my favorite movie soundtracks!
Naturally, go full-screen HD for best experience. [more inside]
Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve the images:
“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”
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]
NASA's Image of the Day: Dragon on approach to the ISS (SIL)
"This image of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft as it approached the space station was taken NASA astronaut Don Pettit. The SpaceX Falcon 9 and its Dragon spacecraft launched on Tuesday, May 22, at 3:44 a.m. EDT."
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]
The International Space Station is a complex place, with loads of gear packed into its 916 cubic meters of pressurized volume. SpaceRef
has an assortment of detailed technical documents describing everything from basic operations to emergency procedures. For a general overview, see the excellent NASA ISS Reference Guide (pdf)
A collection of timelapse night photographs,
beautifully edited to demonstrate light pollution, complete with Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," ISS, the Milky Way and a lot of spendy Nikon cameras.
Between August and October this year the crew of the ISS used a special low-light HD camera to visually capture the earth as it passed beneath them. The result, edited together by Michael König and set to music, is jaw-droppingly spectacular
It may be redundant to tell you to set Vimeo to full-screen mode before playing, but do so - you won't regret it. Post intended as something of a sequel to this.
Some related channels on Vimeo: The World In HD, HDTime, Slow Motion & Timelapse Theatre.
Hey, remember the ISS, that space station
the Space Shuttle
helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station
for a bit. [more inside]
It is a stunning image and one that is bound to be reproduced over and over again whenever they recall the history of the US space shuttle.
"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]