Why does long-term zero-g hurt astronauts' eyes? Mystery solved

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Turns out that long stints in outer space affect levels of cerebrospinal fluid. That explains why many astronauts who had 20/20 vision before space missions needed glasses upon return, according to a paper presented this week. Read the rest

Float through the space station in this fisheye POV

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Crank it to 4K and go full-screen to feel as if you're floating through the International Space Station. It's cool to think about how quaint this technology will look someday, like a wooden sailing ship, but for now, it's still mind-blowingly cool. Read the rest

ISS captures three hurricanes in time-lapse video, two in Pacific and one in Atlantic

L-R: Hurricanes Lester, Madeline and Gaston seen from ISS Aug. 30. [NASA]

Cameras on the International Space Station captured this footage of three major hurricanes on Earth on August 30. Two of these storms are in the Pacific Ocean, and one is in the Atlantic Ocean. Read the rest

IMAX's "A Beautiful Planet" is a 3D visit to the International Space Station

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I'm ashamed to admit that I never learned much about the International Space Station. But after seeing the IMAX 3D documentary A Beautiful Planet, I feel like I spent 45 minutes in it, and it was emotional and thrilling. I'm normally not a big fan of 3D movies, but the quality was so high that it didn't bother me and instead made the experience of learning about life inside the ISS that much better.

I was enthralled the entire time I watched the movie. I felt like I was floating in the ISS, observing the astronauts right in front of me as they ate, cut their hair, made espresso, helped each other get into their spacesuits, and played the bagpipes. I remember reading somewhere that one of the requirements of being an astronaut is that you can't be arrogant or have a big ego because those aren't good traits to have when you live in close quarters for months on end with other people. The astronauts on the ISS all seemed very smart, good natured, and kind. I wanted to hug them all.

The movie, which is narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, is called A Beautiful Planet because the main star of the show is our planet as filmed by crew of the ISS. We've all seen images of the Earth from space, but to see them in 3D on giant screen in crystal clarity is another experience altogether. My 13-year-old daughter was shocked by the nighttime footage of South and North Korea. Read the rest

Greens grown in space are now on Space Station astronaut menu

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Crew members on Expedition 44, including NASA's one-year astronaut Scott Kelly, harvested some "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce Monday, Aug. 10, from the Veggie plant growth system on the nation’s orbiting laboratory.

“Nominal” Soyuz launch sends Expedition 44 crew of three to International Space Station

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Today's launch was a good one.

Space in ultra-high def: NASA releases 4K video from International Space Station

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An unprecedented look at what it's like to live and work aboard the ISS.

Earth Illuminated: Dazzling ISS time-lapse photography, from NASA (video)

John Streeter, who is a television producer with NASA at Johnson Space Center in Houston, sends this cool video and tells Boing Boing:

It is all real, all shot from the International Space Station and all beautiful. It is time-lapse photography that showcases stars, cities at night, lightning storms and the aurora all from the vantage point of the space station. Also, there is a link at the end where you can visit, download and create your own videos if you wish.

The station is a remarkable engineering achievement and this is just a small side benefit of being in orbit. I hope you enjoy.

NASA.gov link, and here's the video on YouTube.

 Time-lapse video from ISS NASA ISS time lapse compilation Time-lapse video taken from International Space Station orbiting ... Space Station time-lapse video with Imaginary Foundation ... TIME LAPSE of the Northern Lights from Space Read the rest

Astronaut Don Pettit, just floatin' around in the ISS with his camera collection, like you do (photo)

Above, a NASA photo of astronaut Don Pettit, Expedition 31 flight engineer, posing with some sweet-ass digital cameras in the Cupola of the International Space Station. ISS031-E-112469 (10 June 2012).

I hereby propose that someone launch a tumblr with more photos like this, to be titled FUCK YEAH DON PETTIT.

Larger sizes at OnOrbit, via PetaPixel, via BB's sainted sysadmin Ken.

Update: FUCKYEAHDONPETTIT.tumblr.com is now a thing. Read the rest

SpaceX readies for launch this Saturday, May 19, 2012

If all goes according to plan, tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th, SpaceX will become the first commercial space flight company in history to head for the International Space Station. You can watch online, live, at SpaceX.com starting at 1:15 AM Pacific / 4:15 AM Eastern / 08:15 UTC. You can also follow SpaceX founder and CEO @elonmusk on Twitter. He'll live-tweet from mission control during launch.

Veteran space journalist Miles O'Brien covered the story in a recent PBS NewsHour segment.

And below, Miles and NewsHour host Hari Sreenivasan talk about the details of the mission, the engineering challenges and the other spaceflight companies vying for a chance at delivering cargo and people to low-Earth orbit.

Read the rest