I know for a fact it’s one of the most annoying things that can happen. I’ve done it lots; whether that be out at night with telescope or a bit of DIY but for sure it has to rate as one of the most frustrating things to happen. I am talking of dropping something you are using. Ranking high is dropping tools while you are actually using them.. Dropping a tool is one thing but imagine dropping an entire bag of tools, while in orbit!!!! Oops!Continue reading “Oops. Astronauts Lost a Tool Bag During a Spacewalk!”
Although humans have flown to space for decades, the missions have primarily been in low-Earth orbit, with just a handful of journeys to the Moon. Future missions with the upcoming Artemis program aim to have humans living and working on the Moon, with the hopes of one day sending humans to Mars.
However, the environments of the Moon and deep space present additional health challenges to astronauts over low-Earth orbit (LEO), such as higher radiation, long-term exposure to reduced gravity and additional acceleration and deceleration forces. A new paper looks at the future of biomedicine in space, with a sobering takeaway: We currently don’t know enough about the biomedical challenges of exploring deep space to have an adequate plan to ensure astronaut health and safety for the Artemis program.Continue reading “We Don't Know Enough About the Biomedical Challenges of Deep Space Exploration”
In capitalist societies, resources are primarily directed at solving problems, and one of the biggest hurdles facing space development is its ability to directly solve the problems of the majority of humanity back on Earth. So far, we’ve taken some cautious commercial steps, primarily through satellite monitoring and communication technologies. Some think that space tourism is the “killer app” that will kickstart the commercialization of space. But to really have a sustainable business model, humans need to make something in space that they are unable to make on Earth. This article is the first in a series where we will look at what those possible first manufactured goods are. And in this case, the good isn’t something that might immediately be thought of as high-tech.Continue reading “Could Aging Wine Become The First Major Space Manufacturing Business?”
In the near future, NASA and other space agencies plan to send crews beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to perform long-duration missions on the Moon and Mars. To meet this challenge, NASA is developing life support systems that will sustain crew members without the need for resupply missions from Earth. These systems must be regenerative and closed-loop in nature, meaning they will recycle consumables like food, air, and water without zero waste. Currently, crews aboard the International Space Station (ISS) rely on an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) to meet their needs.
This system recycles air aboard the station by passing it through filters that scrub excess carbon dioxide produced by the crew’s exhalations. Meanwhile, the system uses advanced dehumidifiers to capture moisture from the crew’s exhalation and perspiration and sends this to the Water Purification Assembly (WPA). Another subsystem, called Urine Processor Assembly (UPA), recovers and distills water from astronaut urine. To boost the WPA’s efficiency, the crew integrated a new component called the Brine Processor Assembly (BPA), which recently passed an important milestone.Continue reading “Good News! Astronauts are Drinking Almost all of Their Own Urine”
He’s done it again, outdoing even his own incredible work.
Over the years, we’ve written many articles to share the beautiful and mind-bending astrophotography of Thierry Legault. Each year he seems to come up with ideas to try to surpass even his own craziest attempts of astrophotography feats – such as capturing spy satellites in orbit, or snapping pictures of the International Space Station (ISS) transiting the Sun during a solar eclipse.
Now, he was able to take pictures of the ISS transiting the Sun while two astronauts were doing a spacewalk. As an added challenge, Legault made sure he was in the right place at the right time so he could capture the ISS (and astronauts) while they were passing by three enormous sunspots.
WHAT??Continue reading “Thierry Legault’s Stunning Views of the Space Station (with spacewalking astronauts) Crossing in Front of Sunspots”
The International Space Station (ISS) is nearing the end of its service. While NASA and its partners have committed to keeping it in operation until 2030, plans are already in place for successor space stations that will carry on the ISS’ legacy. China plans to assume a leading role with Tiangong, while the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to deploy its own space station by mid-decade. NASA has also contracted with three aerospace companies to design commercial space stations, including Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef, the Axiom Space Station (AxS), and Starlab.
Well, buckle up! The European multinational aerospace giant Airbus has thrown its hat into the ring! In a recently-released video, the company detailed its proposal for a Multi-Purpose Orbital Module (MPOP) called the Airbus LOOP. This modular space segment contains three decks, a centrifuge, and enough volume for a crew of four, making it suitable for future space stations and long-duration missions to Mars. The LOOP builds on the company’s long history of human spaceflight programs, like the ISS Columbus Module, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), and the Orion European Service Module (ESM).Continue reading “Airbus Designs a Space Station With Artificial Gravity”
Spaceflight takes a serious toll on the human body. As NASA’s Twin Study demonstrates, long-duration stays in space lead to muscle and bone density loss. There are also notable effects on the cardiovascular, central nervous, and endocrine systems, as well as changes in gene expression and cognitive function. There’s also visual impairment, known as Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome (SANS), which many astronauts reported after spending two months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This results from increased intracranial pressure that places stress on the optic nerve and leads to temporary blindness.
Researchers are looking for ways to diagnose and treat these issues to prepare for future missions that will involve long-duration stays beyond Earth and transits in deep space. A cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by the University of Western Australia (UWA) has developed a breakthrough method for measuring brain fluid pressure that could reduce the risk of SANS for astronauts on long-duration spaceflights. This research could have applications for the many efforts to create a human presence on the Moon in this decade and crewed missions to Mars in the next.Continue reading “What Can Be Done to Help Astronaut Vision in Space?”
Roscosmos has had quite the run of bad luck lately. In addition to sanctions putting pressure on their space program and the cancellation of agreements (all due to the war in Ukraine), the Russian space agency has experienced several problems in space. On December 14th, 2022, and February 11th, 2023, two space capsules reportedly suffered radiator coolant leaks (Soyuz MS-22 and Progress 82). In addition to delivering fresh supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), one of the spacecraft (M-22) was slated to bring three members of Expedition 68 back to Earth.
Luckily, on February 25th, Russia announced it was sending another Soyuz capsule to replace the M-22 (Soyuz M-23) and retrieve the three crew members, cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, and astronaut Frank Rubio (who will return to Earth now on September 27th). In addition, Tuesday, March 28th, Russia undocked the M-22 from the ISS and successfully brought it home without crew. NASA provided live coverage of the undocking and departure of the uncrewed spacecraft via NASA TV, the agency website, and the NASA app.Continue reading “Leaky Soyuz Capsule Returns to Earth”
Roscosmos appears to be having some issues with a spacecraft again. In December, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft that delivered three crewmembers of Expedition 68 to the International Space Station (ISS) reported a leak in its coolant loop. On February 11th, engineers at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow recorded a depressurization in Progress 82, an uncrewed cargo craft docked with the Poisk laboratory module. The cause of these leaks remains unknown, but Roscosmos engineers (with support from their NASA counterparts) will continue investigating.Continue reading “Another Russian Spacecraft is Leaking Coolant”
There is an ongoing incident at the International Space Station involving a coolant leak from a docked Soyuz MS-22 crew ship. Just as Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Propokyev and Dmitri Petelin were getting ready to do a spacewalk to relocate a radiator, ground teams in Moscow noticed the leak. The spacewalk was cancelled immediately.Continue reading “A Soyuz Capsule on ISS is Leaking Coolant Into Space”