Category Archives: space exploration

A nifty bit of engineering on the ISS

Destin from SmarterEveryDay analyzes a cool bit of engineering on the International Space Station: the system whereby the cupola windows, through which everything is photographed and filmed, are opened and closed. It turns out that the shutters are actually activated through two holes in the shuttle skin itself, sealed only with two small rubber-O rings! […]

AstroSam gets a haircut

What with the lack of gravity making your locks stick straight up, it’s always a bad hair day in space. Our Official Website Astronaut™, Astro Sam, has short hair that becomes spiky at zero-G, making her look like a Punk Astronaut. But the residents of the ISS are up there for a long time and must occasionally […]

Reprieve for AstroSam

by Matthew Cobb Our Official Website Astronaut™, Samantha Cristoforetti, has been given a reprieve. She was due to return to Earth from the ISS this week, along with her comrades NASA astronaut Terry Virts and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, after a five-month mission. But because of  the loss of the Russian space agency’s Progress 59 freighter last […]

Astronaut Sam explains ISS hygiene

Here are two videos from our Official Website Astronaut™, Samantha Cristoforetti, explaining how inhabitants of the International Space Station keep themselves clean and do their business (I love the “#1/#2″ distinction)! I didn’t realize that urine was recycled into potable water, but it makes sense. I’ve just learned that Astro Sam is coming back to […]

Astronaut Sam finally gets her espresso

Houston, we have a tw**t from our Official Website Astronaut, giving us an A-OK on the new ISS espresso machine: Note the special Space Cup (and the Captain Janeway quote). h/t: Matthew Cobb  

A Moonrise (and more) from Astro Sam

We have several bits and bobs for Monday morning. First,  Official Website Astronaut™, Samantha Cristoforetti, has a lovely new tw**t up (she tw**ts in several languages): I have to say that the various space programs have mastered social media—a great way to get public support for their endeavors. They even post YouTube videos from the ISS (see below). […]

Espresso in space: Italian astronaut on the ISS must have proper coffee

What better way to greet the day than this tw**t from astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, who, being Italian, was elated on Wednesday to take delivery of a special space espresso machine ferried to the International Space Station via the Dragon vehicle. “Sam”, as she calls herself, is, as Wikpedia notes, the first Italian woman in space, is festooned with multiple […]

The best salute to Spock

This is a tw**t from astronaut Terry Virts aboard the International Space Station.  What a great tribute to Leonard Nimoy!

How we’d acquaint aliens with our civilization

So here’s your task: you can put 115 images on a spacecraft that, in sum, will acquaint any aliens who see them with the nature of our world and our solar system.  How can you possibly do that? There’s so much to tell about: our different cultures, our music, our architecture, our food, our bodies, […]

Aurora segues into sunrise

Filmed from the International Space Station, this totes amazeballs video shows the aurora borealis merging into a sunrise. The Washington Post gives more details: NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore captured this humbling view of East Coast lights as the sun was just beginning to creep above the horizon earlier this week. The faint, blue glow of the […]


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