Sunita Williams guides us through life on the International Space Station in this 30-minute video, which was filmed back in 2012 as part of mission 32/33. It’s really fascinating to observe the adaptations that must be made to live in a gravity-free environment… from the bathroom operations to exercise needed to maintain bone density. Human life really isn’t made for life in space, but these researchers are actively searching for the best methods to make it function. Current work on the ISS will undoubtedly pave the way to our journey to Mars and beyond.
Michael Kagan is a Brookyln-based oil painter who made these abstract space scenes for the Smithsonian Institute. He has also collaborated on projects with big-time musical artists such as Pharell and White Lies. Inspired by NASA’s Mercury missions, Kagan captures scenes of astronauts and shuttle launches in thick swaths of blue and white paint.
Kagan exhibited these works last year at Joshua Liner Gallery in an exhibition titled “Thunder in the Distance”. Find more of his work here.
The first image taken from the Philae Spacecraft on the surface of the comet
The European Space Agency succeeded in putting a spacecraft on the surface of a comet yesterday! This is a wonderful achievement for mankind! The robotic probe, Philae, reached 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (what a name?!) on the back of the Rosetta satellite on a 10-year, 6.4 billion-km journey. The descent to the surface took approximately 7 hours, and it wasn’t without its fair share of suspense. The 2 harpoons which were meant to stabilize the probe failed to launch, and the spacecraft actually bounced a few times on the surface before reaching its final resting place.
The main problem with the current position is that the lander is suffering from a lack of sunlight to power all of its tools. Philae is only receiving about 1.5 hours of illumination during every 12-hour rotation of the comet (much less than the agency had hoped for). The Europeans would love to power up Philae’s on-board drill and analyze the comet’s composition, but at the moment, they are worried that the drill’s rotational forces will destablize the probe and send it off into space. Regardless of future plans, this is already a tremendous achievement. Any time you accomplish something that has never happened in the history of humanity, I’d say it was success!
Why did they attempt this mission?
Many scientists believe that comets brought organic molecules to Earth, helping give rise to our oceans and atmosphere, and maybe even the seeds of life. So, learning more about comets’ materials in space could help us discover how life began at home.
A little known fact is that here at RobotSpaceBrain, we actually launched a manned-mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around the same time, and we are HAPPY TO REPORT, THE MISSION WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS! We even stuck the landing:
🙂 Needless to say, this is one of those really exciting moments in space exploration!
I’m pretty sure I would never get tired of playing around in zero gravity. Here’s another video of the astronauts of the International Space Station testing out a crazy idea… underwater video in space.
From NASA: “During Expedition 40 in the summer of 2014, NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman — along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst — explored the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station. The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera.”
Check out this awesome series of astronaut photos by Tim Dodd. The life of an earthbound astronaut can be a bit depressing. Like a snail without its shell, Dodd depicts the everyday life of an astronaut who dreams to be back in space, where he belongs… and it’s hilarious!
Dodd bought the high altitude Russian spacesuit at the auction site last year and has been working on this project ever since.
“I’d been scheming how to best use the suit,” he writes on his blog. “I have been revisiting my childhood love for space and my obsession was growing stronger and stronger. It was only natural to use this suit to project the inner child in me, still dreaming about space.”
Good morning world!
Always brush your teeth!
Boldly going where no astronaut has gone before
I’m super depressed Chris Hadfield was named TIME’s “Astronaut of the Year”
The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. worked on a project last year to catalog various components of space gear using an X-Ray machine, and the results are pretty fascinating. It can be quite challenging to visualize all of the design and ingenuity that exists inside a contemporary space suit, but we’ve seen in the past how X-Ray technology can provide a fresh perspective on everyday objects.
“We were trying to find ways to image the suits to find out what’s going on,” Lewis explains. “But short of taking them apart we really couldn’t tell what was going on inside.” Of course, deconstructing an intricately made suit puts major stress on the material, so they looked to X-ray technology to do the task.
Unfortunately for us, the full exhibit ended last December, but these digital images will live on in the Internet.