ISS

Japan’s cargo ship arrives at ISS: whiskey, mice and more aboard

Japan’s cargo ship arrives at ISS: whiskey, mice and more aboard

After four days, Japan’s cargo ship has safely arrived at the International Space Station. The delivery was made by the H-II Transfer vehicle (HTV-5), and it brings with it, among other things, that whiskey we talked about earlier this month. Says NASA, the delivery was comprised of nearly 9500 lbs of experiments and supplies; it arrived at 6:55AM EDT after having been launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on August 19. The cargo vehicle was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center via the nation’s H-IIB rocket.

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Watch Japan launch a rocket with supplies for the International Space Station

Watch Japan launch a rocket with supplies for the International Space Station

Only a few hours ago, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched an unmanned rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station (ISS). The Kounotori-5 departed from the southern tip of Japan on Wednesday night local time, or just before 8:00 AM Eastern. The successful launch comes as good news to all in the space exploration community, as the last few months have seen a number of resupply missions end in failure, including SpaceX's launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in June.

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ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

ISS pictures are being used to map global light pollution

A project called Cities at Night is using photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station to map nightly light pollution in cities across the world. The project started last summer, and requires the mapping of more than 130,000 high-resolution photographs using geo-centric details. This project is looking at the amount of light produced by cities across the entire globe, including the smaller sources of scattered light in addition to the bigger, more obvious points of light pollution.

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Space lettuce: astronauts eat first-ever off-world veggies

Space lettuce: astronauts eat first-ever off-world veggies

The first fresh food grown in a microgravity environment - off of the planet Earth - have been consumed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station this week. Members of Expedition 44 shared video of their harvest and consumption of the lettuce they grew, part of an experiment called Veg-01. Before samples of the lettuce are sent back to the surface of our planet, astronauts took their first bites. This experiment was started by Expedition 39's flight engineer Steve Swanson back in May of 2014.

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The ISS will soon have a second whiskey-aging experiment

The ISS will soon have a second whiskey-aging experiment

A few years ago, a space research company in the US and Scottish company Ardbeg Distillery teamed up to initiate an experiment revolving around aging whiskey in space. It isn’t the only company with interest in that, however, and now a Japanese company has announced similar plans. This time around it is Japanese distillery Suntory with the space-aging ambitions — this week the company announced plans to ship its alcohol to the nation's module of the International Space Station, Kibo.

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Elon Musk explains first SpaceX failure in 7 years

Elon Musk explains first SpaceX failure in 7 years

Today SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk spoke about the Falcon 9 CRS-7 launch failure that occurred earlier this year. This event occurred on June 28th of 2015 en-route to the International Space Station. At liftoff this flight was nominal, with no signs of possible malfunction apparent. Shortly before first stage shutdown, the flight failed. Today Musk addressed the issues that they believe may have been the cause of this failed mission. There is still no one 100% certain found cause for this mishap.

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Space is scary: ISS crew cowers from space junk peril

Space is scary: ISS crew cowers from space junk peril

Astronauts on the ISS were forced to take cover in an emergency Soyuz capsule today, as debris from an old satellite threatened to pummel the space station. Damage to the orbiting research facility was, thankfully, avoided, NASA has confirmed, but the unexpectedly close pass of broken chunks of Russian weather satellite forced emergency precautions as there was no time to move the ISS out of the way.

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Space Station trio land safe after 199 days in orbit

Space Station trio land safe after 199 days in orbit

A trio of crew members have returned from the International Space Station after 199 days spent in orbit, arriving back on our planet earlier today to mark an all around successful trip. The crew underwent medical tests of various sorts upon returning, including things like performing tasks, taking steps over obstacles, and tasks to test how well they can balance — all of which lends data to the space agency’s researchers regarding the effects of time spent in space on the human body.

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ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

As the ISS floats above earth, it's actually hurtling around its orbit at 17,000 mph. Any debris that it encounters at that speed could have major consequences, so the ISS often has to change course throughout its orbit just to avoid space debris from previous missions. According to NASA, there are about 3,000 tons of space debris in a cloud around Earth in low-Earth orbit. There is another belt of debris higher above the earth in geo-synchronous orbit. A team of Japanese scientists proposed a solution using lasers to blast the debris before it can damage the ISS.

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This One Photo: Australia’s aurora captured in space

This One Photo: Australia’s aurora captured in space

A fantastic photo (and short video) of the Aurora Australis are captured by NASA astronaut Terry Virts. "Flying away from one of the most incredible auroras I've seen," said Virts, "just west of Australia." In addition to capturing the photo you're about to see full size, Virts also captured a Vine. That means he captured one of the most fantastical visions most humans on Earth will never see from his position with a camera that then bashed the video down to miniature size in order for us normal citizens to be able to see, over and over again.

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ESA offers video tour of ISS toilet

ESA offers video tour of ISS toilet

Living in space aboard the ISS certainly poses a myriad of challenges to the astronauts that live there for months at a time. Those challenges include the fact that all the air you breathe, water you drink, and food you eat has to be brought up from Earth aboard rockets. Unfortunately, over the last few years several of these rockets have failed to make it to the ISS as intended.

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ISS astronaut holds weekly geography quiz on Twitter

ISS astronaut holds weekly geography quiz on Twitter

It's one thing to say you know your geography by identifying where a place is on a map, but could you recognize a location just from seeing a picture of it? What if the photo was taken from above from the International Space Station? If you're up to the challenge, it's time to start following US astronaut Scott Kelly of NASA on Twitter, where he's started a weekly game of asking people to identify what part of the world the space station is currently flying over, giving them only a photo and a single clue.

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