Science is the poetry of Nature.

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Posts tagged "ISS"



Astronauts play with fire on board the International Space Station.

When a fire breaks out in space, the basic rule of “stop, drop and roll” that we all learned in school doesn’t apply. That’s because flames in microgravity behave differently than they do on Earth. For one thing, flames in near-zero gravity are circular, not tear-shaped. And even after a flame appears to have gone out it may still be burning. To better understand how these fires burn and how best to extinguish them, astronauts are conducting experiments aboard the International Space Station. One such experiment, called FLEX-2, explores the characteristics of flames using droplets of fuel that are ignited in a test chamber. The steps to perform the experiment are straightforward: place a sample of flammable liquid inside the chamber, ignite the liquid and watch it burn. The research has applications ranging from fire safety to improving the performance of fuel combustion engines.


The droplet is ignited, producing a bright flash. 


A flame shaped like a ball forms around the droplet. The white-hot glow is due to the production of soot particles. 


Astronauts use a video camera to record the flame as the droplet is consumed.

Watch the video to learn more.

Credit: Science@NASA and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Brazil From Space

Photographed by an Expedition 16 crewmember aboard the International Space Station, this image shows the Sao Simao Reservoir, Brazil.

Image Credit: NASA/ISS

The reservoir, which spans an area of 600000 square kilometers (232,000 square miles), is located where the Rio Paranaiba and Rio Verde meet up.

The image also highlights the area’s various agricultural fields.


If you’re ever in need of a dose of perspective, NASA has you covered.

This is the second-best idea NASA ever had, after going to space in the first place.



  1. Soyuz takes off from Kazakhstan launch site as debris flies. [March 26 ‘14].
  2. The ISS and Soyuz  briefly turn red as they move into orbital sunset before docking [March 27 ‘14] 

A crew of two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut blasted off from Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station. 

Top:  BBC News 26 March 2014  Photo credit: Vasily Maximov / AFP
Bottom via Twitter / JPMajor


After attempting to fix the problem remotely, NASA has confirmed that there is a malfunctioning flow control valve causing temperature fluctuations on the International Space Station.

This past week, approximately half of the space station’s temperature control functionality shut down, which forced the crew to power off all nonessential equipment. While the astronauts living aboard are safe and comfortable, NASA wants to ensure that the cooling system is operating at full level and to perform preventative maintenance to avoid any potential issues in the future. 

To do this, Expedition 38 astronauts Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio will perform a series of spacewalks to install a 780 pound spare pump. Back in 2010, a similar spacewalk took place to install a pump on the International Space Station, and it took three days to complete. Based upon experiences from that mission, Hopkins and Mastracchio will need to disconnect five power and data lines, three 1.5 inch ammonia lines, and a coolant line spanning only a half inch in length. After replacing the spare pump module, it is vital for the astronauts to attach these lines as quickly as possible to the control box to prevent a potential pressure loss.

The first of these spacewalks has been scheduled on December 21st and has effectively forced NASA to postpone the Cygnus cargo mission, originally scheduled for December 19th.

Image Credit: NASA TV

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Tokyo, Japan

An image that reminds of the opening scene of the manga film classic Akira, this futuristic night-time shot of the capital of Japan was taken in 2012 from the International Space Station.

(via afro-dominicano)

ISS over the clouds by Zoltán Pável


Evolution of a vapor trail and cloud created by the launch of a Russian Topol Missile, photographed from the International Space Station on October 10th, 2013.  Source images; ISS037-E-9211 to ISS037-E-9334.


Backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-119 and Expedition 18 crews concluded 9 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 2:53 p.m. (CDT) on March 25, 2009.


Space Station to Test Inflatable Habitat

Image: Using inflatable habitat concepts originally conceived by NASA, Bigelow Aerospace hopes to have a commercial alternative to space station technology. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

It would be the company’s third orbital prototype, but the first to be tested as part of a crewed spacecraft. The demonstration not only is expected to help Bigelow lease space to paying customers aboard its planned free-flying Earth-orbiting outposts. NASA also is interested in the technology for future deep space missions, such as to an asteroid, the moon, or Mars.

“This partnership agreement … represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably,” NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said in a statement.

Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

More on the Bigelow Inflatable Module


Inflatable module to be added to space station.

NASA has announced a US$17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide an expandable module to the International Space Station. NASA says the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors.

“The International Space Station is a unique laboratory that enables important discoveries that benefit humanity and vastly increase understanding of how humans can live and work in space for long periods,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “This partnership agreement for the use of expandable habitats represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably, and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation.”

Further details are due to be released at a conference this Wednesday.

(via 8bitfuture)


Sunita Williams after adding her patch to the ISS patch collection. 

(via womeninspace)


Shuttle and Station

When the Space Shuttle Endeavor left the International Space Station (ISS) on its way back home, the separating pair appeared in the sky as bright moving points close together, making trails in this time exposure image from Hungary (ISS created the brighter trail). — Tamas Ladanyi

Spotting The Station

A shot of the ISS flying through the constellation Canis Major with what looks like a faint meteor. I used the new NASA spot the station email alert and it worked great! I signed up for it on Monday and they emailed me on Tuesday with an alert. I set up to capture it pass overhead before dawn on the morning of 11/14/12 at 5:08am. EST — Scott Tully