I had the privilege of interviewing Buzz Aldrin a few years ago. The second man to step foot on the moon (and first to pee on it) had just released a new book, and won his first ever March Madness bracket, and the first thing he told me over the phone was how he'd spent his 80th birthday scuba diving in the Galapagos with his son, but got in trouble when he broke away from the group and grabbed a whale shark by the dorsal fin just so he could ride it.
Buzz Aldrin is a god damn national treasure and a real American badass. (I'd also love to see the look on that scuba instructor's face if/when they realized that the old man they were scolding was in fact Buzz Aldrin.)
Now, Aldrin is 90 years old, which puts him at particularly high risk for infection by the novel coronavirus. But this national treasure has a solid plan to stay safe, as detailed to Eric Berger at Ars Technica: "Lying on my ass and locking the door."
Aldrin is a survivor — of outer space, of shitty jobs, and of alcoholism and depression — so I tend to trust his advice. But if you're looking for something more substantial, Forbes spoke with several other astronauts about their time in isolation, including NASA’s Human Research Program Director Bill Paloski, Ph.D.; John Grunsfeld PhD, a retired NASA astronaut and Hubble Space Telescope repairman who spent over 59 days in space; and Dr. Read the rest
In January, I covered the new season of NASA Explorers. This season (their fourth) focuses on space science and microgravity. In concert with the latest episode (inlined below), the NASA Explorers team posted, exclusively to their Facebook page, a behind-the-scenes interview with astronaut and space scientist, Don Pettit.
Standing in a standard Earth gravity mock-up of the Destiny lab aboard the station, Pettit and NASA Explorers' Rachel Barry talk about the explorations of the past, present, and the future. There are some interesting moments here, like how long-term oceanic voyages of the past also taught us about the human body under such stressful conditions and how to better prepare it for future voyages. Understanding the blight of scurvy during such voyages opened up our whole understanding of vitamins and diet.
Don also talks about future generations being born and growing up in space, in microgravity, and thus having a completely different perception of spatial relationships and how this might even change the way they think and solve problems.
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Some folks can sleep anywhere. Others, while traveling, need the comfort of a pillow brought with them from home in order get a bit of shut eye. For the privileged handful that have journeyed into space, taking a snooze is, well, like nothing else on earth.
In this video, former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino provides some insider insight on what it takes to catch a few Z's in zero-gravity. Read the rest
On Sunday, UK-based backyard astrophotographer Szabolcs Nagy captured a series of images of the International Space Station transiting the moon and combined them in the captivating GIF above. Nagy's tools, seen below in the parking lot where he set up for the shoot, were a Skywatcher 250/1200 FlexTube Ddobson telescope and Zwo ASI224MC camera.
ISS: Extremely Good Lunar Transit (Space Station Guys)
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You read that headline right: the ISS has been bopping around our planet for two long decades. How do you celebrate one of the greatest collaborative scientific undertakings in human history? If you're the European Space Agency, you plop out the longest spacebound timelapse video ever taken for the world to enjoy. Read the rest
NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) released the first 8k ultra high definition (UHD) video of life and science inside the International Space Station. From NASA:
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The Helium 8K camera by RED, a digital cinema company, is capable of shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 8K, specifically 8192 x 4320 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project in resolutions of 2K to 4K....
Delivered to the station in April aboard the 14th SpaceX cargo resupply mission through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and RED, this camera’s ability to record twice the pixels and at resolutions four times higher than the 4K camera brings science in orbit into the homes, laboratories and classrooms of everyone on Earth.
“We’re excited to embrace new technology that improves our ability to engage our audiences in space station research,” said David Brady, assistant program scientist for the International Space Station Program Science Office at Johnson. “Each improvement in imagery fidelity brings that person on Earth closer to the in-space experience, allowing them to see what human spaceflight is doing to improve their life, as well as enable humanity to explore the universe.”
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan this morning during their attempted trip to the International Space Station. The duo were on board a Russian-built Soyuz rocket, launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan when, according to early reports from NASA, the rocket's booster failed minutes after liftoff.
NASA reported in a tweet that the “...Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.” A search and rescue team was deployed to pick up the astronaut and cosmonaut from the capsule's landing site, approximately 12 miles east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, will be conducting a formal investigation into what went wrong with their rocket.
Scary shit. Read the rest
"It’s so beautiful," U.S. astronaut Jack Fischer described today's trip to the ISS to his wife. The experience, he said, was "a burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce."
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While the "Mannequin Challenge" is a little played out at this point, I’ll make an exception for this awesome version filmed onboard the International Space Station. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet posted the short video on Facebook, noting that the crew decided to play around with microgravity on their day off. “The result is kind of sci-fi spooky don’t you think?” he added. And while Pesquet's version doesn’t feature the traditional “Black Beatles” underscoring, one fan was kind enough to add the song to the video:
[via The Verge] Read the rest
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
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
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
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
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.
Today's launch was a good one.
An unprecedented look at what it's like to live and work aboard the ISS.
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