Category Archives: space exploration

Philae woke up!!

Philae, the small probe that our species successfully landed on a comet (Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko), has reawakened after its batteries died not long after the first landing in November. The BBC reports: The European Space Agency (Esa) says its comet lander, Philae, has woken up and contacted Earth. Philae, the first spacecraft to land on a comet, was […]

Sam’s journey home

by Grania Spingies Sam Cristoforetti is on her way back planet-side today after a record-breaking stint on the ISS. Here she is savoring the last few minutes on the station. Because I’m a gigantic nerd, I always think of this when I see that port. And of course she has impeccable geek credentials too. Some […]

Astro Sam comes home

UPDATE:  Sam’s last tw**t from space: ____________ After a delay in returning to Earth (one that Samantha Cristoforetti was delighted about), she’s coming home on Thursday. As the Daily Mirror reports, she’s set a record: European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been on the International Space Station for almost 200 days, meaning she’s now […]

Google Doodle celebrates Sally Ride

Had Sally Ride not died of pancreatic cancer in 2012, she would have been 64 today. She was of course the first American woman in space, having had two trips on the space shuttle Challenger at the age of 32. As the video at the bottom notes, she was chosen from 8,000 candidates. The Doodle […]

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). […]


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