Thursday, January 5, 2012

Meanwhile, out in space...

ISS astronauts do the interview thing.

As the world turns...

Up in the International Space Station, six astronauts and cosmonauts continue to work in zero gravity, performing maintenance and science experiments in their orbital home. While space-faring nations busy themselves with rocket launches, space politics, and capsule testing, the ISS Expedition 30 crew keeps working on the frontier of space adventure.

Comet Lovejoy as seen from the ISS.

Commander Dan Burbank was in the observation cupola at the right moment on December 22. Carefully aiming his camera, he managed to take a beautiful shot of Comet Lovejoy as it appears just above the Earth's atmosphere. Actually many millions of miles away, the comet's tail seems to float leisurely above our planet. This picture will undoubtedly become one of the iconic memorable moments of ISS history.

Astronaut Shannon Walker works on the SAME.

When the crew of Expedition 30 isn't studying the Earth, they are busy maintaining the station's life support systems, working on experiments, or exercising to keep up their health. The SAME (Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment) experiment is located in the Microgravity Sciences Glovebox. Using the SAME helps our scientists develop new ways to detect the difference between smoke and dust particles. This technology will help our engineers build effective detectors for spacecraft and aircraft in the future.

SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule is being prepared for a launch to the ISS.

During today's interview with and Fox News Radio, the astronauts mentioned they were looking forward to the upcoming visit of the Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft. Built by SpaceX, the Dragon will give the ISS program a new way to return valuable equipment and materials back to Earth-bound scientists. The Dragon launch is set for February 7.

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