The movies make space flight seem easy. A simple flip of the joystick or twist of the knob and any asteroid or space creature is done for. Sadly, the reality of space flight involves the constant monitoring of, and fiddling with, a near-endless set of dials, switches and buttons. In fact, so much of modern space craft are packed with gear and doodads that even astronauts have trouble keeping everything straight.
To anyone who's ever pondered what urine looks like in space -- c'mon, don't be shy -- we say: wonder no more, because photos of the phenomenon have finally hit the internet.
Last Wednesday, a number of skygazers were lucky to sight a mysterious flare in the night sky, that, as it now turns out, was a 150-pound cocktail of astronaut urine and waste water released from the shuttle Discovery.
The space shuttle Discovery just can’t catch a break. Astronauts aboard the orbiting craft, which is scheduled to land back on Earth later today, fired the engines around noon EDT today to dodge a piece of space junk creeping into its orbit, marking the third piece of orbiting detritus to enter the shuttle’s neighborhood during this mission.
NASA should extend space station operations beyond the planned 2016 retirement, according to a subcommittee of the presidential panel reviewing the human space program's future. But some members also warned that such a step could delay the return of astronauts to the moon.
This comes shortly after NASA had announced plans to de-orbit the International Space Station in 2016. Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada all support extending the $100-billion collaborative venture beyond 2015.
NASA's Endeavour shuttle launched yesterday evening, after a near-record five delays, on a mission to aid in International Space Station construction for 16 days. However, the craft lost about a dozen pieces of fuel-tank debris during lift off, possibly causing damage to the shuttle.
Despite nearing completion after more than a decade of construction, and recently announcing some upcoming improvements to accompany its full crew of six astronauts, NASA plans to de-orbit the International Space Station in 2016. Meaning the station will have spent more time under construction than completed.
Despite it being in many ways a marvel of modern technology, the International Space Station can't keep up with even the simplest modern cellphone in terms of data communication with Earth. Disruption-Tolerant Networking, a new protocol for transmitting data in space being developed jointly by NASA, Google's "Chief Internet Evangelist" and others, hopes to change that.
We've seen private tourists and urine-recycling water filters make their way onto the International Space Station, but breathtaking views have never been the station's strongest selling point. Because of external hazards such as solar radiation and orbiting space debris, the biggest window is only 20 inches. Until now, that is.
By Adam HadhazyPosted 05.21.2009 at 3:19 pm 4 Comments
There's nothing like washing down some freeze-dried space grub with a gulp of what you and your crewmates excreted just days prior. NASA announced yesterday that the recently installed urine and sweat recycling system on the International Space Station (ISS) has begun to churn out good, potable water, fit for consumption in orbit and terrestrially (though don't expect it to compete with Evian). To celebrate, ISS crewmembers and NASA folk on Earth raised a toast Wednesday and took a drink.