NASA recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS) with a space-to-Earth call between the 7-person Expedition 70 crew and outgoing NASA Associate Administrator, Bob Cabana, and ISS Program Manager, Joel Montalbano. On December 6, 1998, the U.S.-built Unity module and the Russian-built Zarya module were mated in the Space Shuttle Endeavour cargo bay, as Endeavour was responsible for launching Unity into orbit that same day, with Zarya having waited in orbit after being launched on November 20 from Kazakhstan.Continue reading “The International Space Station Celebrates 25 Years in Space”
A recent study published in Frontiers in Physiology examines how vibrating wearable devices, known as vibrotactors, can be used to help astronauts cope with spatial disorientation when in space, which results from the lack of gravitational cues, or natural sensory perceptions, they are accustomed to using when on Earth and despite the rigorous training the astronauts undergo to combat the symptoms of spatial disorientation. This study was conducted by a team of researchers at Brandeis University and holds the potential to help develop more efficient methods to combat spatial disorientation, especially with long-term missions to the Moon, and even Mars.Continue reading “Astronauts Could Wear a Device to Prevent Disorientation in Space”
You’re an excited, spacefaring passenger strolling about a pressurized cabin approximately 30 kilometers (20 miles) above the Earth. Your trip is scheduled for six hours, and you’ve already consumed the world-class food and drinks to complement this awesome view from Spaceship Neptune, which is provided by Space Perspective, the World’s First Carbon-Neutral Spaceflight Experience Company. But now you’re three hours into your trip and you have to go to the bathroom. Don’t worry, that’s where the Space Spa comes in, which was recently unveiled as one of the many features offered by Space Perspective as part of its spaceflight experience. An important aspect is paying customers, which Space Perspective refers to as Explorers, will be able to catch the great view even while taking a break in the Space Spa, with Space Perspective posting detailed images of the Space Spa to its official X page.Continue reading “Sit on the Toilet while you Gaze at the Earth from the Edge of Space”
A recent preprint paper examines the minimum number of people required to maintain a feasible settlement on Mars while accounting for psychological and behavioral factors, specifically in emergency situations. This study was conducted by a team of data scientists from George Mason University and holds the potential to help researchers better understand the appropriate conditions for a successful long-term Mars settlement, specifically pertaining to how those settlers will get along during all situations. But why is it important to better understand the psychological factors pertaining for a potential future Mars colony?Continue reading “What’s the Bare Minimum Number of People for a Mars Habitat?”
SpaceX’s second private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom-2 aka Ax-2, which is sponsored Axiom Space, received a “go” for launch from NASA on May 15 followed by a stamp of approval from Mother Nature on May 19, and finally a completion of the Launch Readiness Review (LRR) on May 20. Liftoff is currently scheduled for May 21 at 5:37pm EDT (2:37pm PDT) from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic launch complex 39A, which was the launch site for all crewed Apollo-Saturn V launches starting with Apollo 8, along with Skylab, dozens of Space Shuttle launches, and starting in 2017 with SpaceX.Continue reading “The Private Axiom-2 Mission is Almost Ready to Fly to the International Space Station”
NASA and Axiom Space Inc. provided a first, limited look at the new spacesuits that will be worn by the next astronauts to land on the Moon. The Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit that will be worn for the Artemis missions was only partially revealed at an event at Johnson Space Center in Houston, in order not to give away any proprietary information about the suit.
“Since a spacesuit worn on the Moon must be white to reflect heat and protect astronauts from extreme high temperatures,” Axiom Space said in a press release, “a cover layer is currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suit’s proprietary design.”Continue reading “NASA and Axiom Space Do a Partial Reveal of the Spacesuit That Will be Worn on the Moon”
In a recent study published in Microbiome, a team of researchers led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory conducted a five-year first-of-its-kind study investigating the microbiome (environmental profile) of the International Space Station (ISS). The purpose of the study was to address “the introduction and proliferation of potentially harmful microorganisms into the microbial communities of piloted spaceflight and how this could affect human health”, according to the paper.Continue reading “The International Space Station Gets a Clean Bill of Health. Despite a Few Opportunistic Microbes, the Station is “Safe” for Astronauts”
We want to send humans to Mars eventually, and while this will be both a historic and exciting journey, it could also be tragic and terrible, and we must also address the potential pitfalls and risks of such an adventure. The intent behind this is to allow fans of space exploration to consider the full picture of such an endeavor. The good, the bad, and the ugly.Continue reading “Would Mark Watney Have Survived in Real Life, and What This Can Teach Us About Sending Humans to Mars”
We recently explored how the Apple TV+ series, For All Mankind, gives us a harsh reality check about the harshness of human space exploration. In the show, astronauts struggle, some go crazy, and a lot of them die in the pursuit of planting our flag just a little farther from home. We discussed how while For All Mankind is both science fiction and takes place in an alternate universe, our future Artemis and Mars astronauts will very likely endure the same struggles and hardships as the show’s beloved characters.
When Artemis astronauts finally land on the Moon, they’ll be there anywhere from a few days to a few months. While the Moon is only a few days travel time from Earth, Artemis astronauts may still get a little cranky being stuck in their habitat and unable to go outside without a spacesuit.Continue reading “Using Virtual/Augmented Reality and Holoportation to Help Improve Mental Health for Future Mars Astronauts”
* Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead *
The Apple TV+ series, For All Mankind, just wrapped up Season 3 and is a smash hit for both critics and fans, garnering Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 90% and 81%, respectively. It’s a show that (probably) came about from the Amazon hit, The Man in the High Castle, which depicted a world after the Allies lost World War II, and also garnered favorable ratings of 84% and 81%, respectively, having both fantastic characters and writing.Continue reading “‘For All Mankind’ Gives Harsh Reality Check About Human Space Exploration”