Astronaut Finishes Space Station Expedition With ‘Space Oddity’ Cover

Posted by Bob Muir on May 14, 2013 in Science

Chris Hadfield

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has been delighting the internet with his videos from space since he took over command of the International Space Station last December. Now, his time has come to an end and he is handing over control to Expedition 36, but not before recording and uploading one last video: a rather well-done cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Read more…

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Japan to Build Their Own Mr.Data?

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Feb 22, 2011 in Science, Tech

 Japanese Data figure (small)

Japan recently announced that they’re considering sending a talking humanoid robot to the International Space Station in 2013.  In addition to offering companionship, and being generally creepy — it’s suppose to monitor the astronauts while they sleep — it’ll communicate with Earth via twitter, where it’ll tweet images to its followers on the ground. Sadly, I don’t think the robot will posess super-human strength, or any form of self-awareness. After all, I doubt Japan has any cyberneticists capable of crafting the appropriate positronic components. Read more…

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Anime Cosplay in Orbit!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 10, 2010 in Animation, Fandom, Science

S131-E-007052 (7 April 2010) --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Expedition 23 flight engineer; and Naoko Yamazaki (right), STS-131 mission specialist; along NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, STS-131 mission specialist, pose for a photo in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi (seen on the left) grew up watching Space Battleship Yamato which is well known to American fans as Star Blazers. And here he is on International Space Station making us Earth bound retro anime fans very proud. Here’s the official caption for the photo from NASA which sadly omits the fanboy reference: Read more…

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What Does Outer Space Smell Like?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 13, 2010 in Science

This cute video shows a chat between astronaut Mike Massimino on the ground feeding questions from Twitter to astronauts Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken who are hanging out at the International Space Station. As a sci fi fanboy what I love about this chat is how they go into detail on what outer space smells, sounds and looks like when you take a space walk.

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A Space Shuttle Somersault

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 10, 2010 in Science

space shuttle EndeavourThe shuttle looks like an aircraft and lands like one, yet we tend to forget that it’s a real spaceship — and flying a spaceship doesn’t look like an X-wing jetting into to the Death Star. And that’s what I love about this recent video footage from the current shuttle mission which shows the Endeavour performing a rendezvous pitch maneuver so that the crew members aboard the ISS can photograph the orbiter for any signs of damage it may have incurred during liftoff. By the way if you missed the launch of Expedition 23 here are some highlights of the dramatic night launch: Read more…

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A European Push to Save the International Space Station

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 15, 2010 in Science

International Space Station

According to this article at the BBC News website the European Space Agency’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain is pushing to keep the ISS going until the year 2020. This is critical as support for the station is up for review, and signs are pointing to pulling the plug by 2015: Read more…

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The International Space Station Goes Japanese

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 23, 2009 in Science

Shown above is footage of the Expedition 22 Soyuz docking at the International Space Station — what’s interesting about this mission is that it includes Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Noguchi will be hanging out at the ISS for a six month stint in orbit and you can follow him on Twitter if you’d like to ask him some questions.

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The Soyuz Launch: Will This Be the Only Way to Reach the ISS in 2010?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 1, 2009 in Science

What shown above is both wonderful and terrifying if you’re a fan of NASA. On one hand any successful launch of a spacecraft is a good thing — and in this case the September 30th launch of the Soyuz Expedition 21 is a vital link to the International Space Station. On the other hand with the upcoming retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet this might be the only way for Americans to get into orbit. In a sense we’re lucky that Russia still has a decently funded space program, but on the other hand not having a backup plan is always a bad idea. Read more…

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Fantastic Footage from the Friday Discovery Launch

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 31, 2009 in Science

No where in the mainstream media did I see any coverage that there was a space shuttle launch on Friday. This is sad to me because each launch of the shuttle is a news event to this humble NASA fanboy; for what you are seeing is takes a ton of work where the crew is putting their life at risk. Under no circumstance should we fall into the apathetic notion that this is in the same class as an airplane taking off even if NASA makes it look that easy. And here’s some footage of the shuttle docking to International Space Station: Read more…

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Endeavour Has Patiently Waited for This

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 16, 2009 in Science

Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew launched at 6:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will deliver the final segment to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station.

After several days of waiting Endeavour took off last night for the International Space Station. Part of me loves it anytime a spacecraft takes off and especially when it’s a safe and smooth launch — but another part of me regrets that it’s the year 2009 and NASA is still stuck with a vehicle that was designed in the 70s. But my hat is off to Commander Mark Polansky for a safe trip and return. Read more…

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Check Out This Amazing International Space Station Footage…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 26, 2009 in Science

You know it’s not quite as cool as a space station that you’d see in 2001: A Space Odyssey but on the whole now that the ISS is 80% done it doesn’t look too shabby! This footage was shot by the space shuttle before it heads home. Here’s an amazing photo from a space walk earlier in the mission: Read more…

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NASAtelevision: The Next Best Thing to Being an Astronaut

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 18, 2009 in Science

In my humble opinion one of the best ways of following the space shuttle this week is to watch the NASAtelevision channel on YouTube (or you can watch it live here) — sadly this is the sort of thing that the SyFy channel should be doing, but maybe this yet another sign that mass media is in decline. Shown above is the crew of the space shuttle being welcomed to the International Space Station, I just love the nautical touch of them ringing the bells. Below are the highlights from the 2nd day: Read more…

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Just a Typical Day at the International Space Station

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 13, 2009 in Science

With all of the excitement today about space junk threatening the International Space Station it dawned on me just how easy it is to forgot how untypical life is on a space station. Shown above is a spacewalk from this week which didn’t even make the news, yet it’s an amazing under taking. What you’re seeing here is the crew if the International Space Station conducting a four hour plus spacewalk which included an experiment and photography of the Russian segment of the station. They’re doing this in advance of the next Discovery mission which will deliver a new set of solar panels which will make the station easier to spot from the ground. Read more…

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Space Beer: To Brew Boldly Where No Man Has Gone Before

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 19, 2008 in Hobbies and Collections, Science

What happens when a top flight international team of biochemists and rocket scientists get together? The answer is Space Beer! The brew was created with barley grown on the International Space Station: Read more…

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The 2009 International Space Station Calendar: A Cool Freebie for NASA Fanboys

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 12, 2008 in Science

2009 International Space Station Calendar

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Space Station NASA is offering a free calendar online to to the public (caution: link goes to a 5.3 meg Adobe Acrobat file). 100,000 copies of the printed version of the calendar will be distributed to schools for free in the United States.

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An Amazing Photo of Building a Space Station in Orbit

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 25, 2008 in Science

S116-E-05983 (12 Dec. 2006) --- Backdropped by a colorful Earth, astronaut Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang, both STS-116 mission specialists, participate in the mission's first of three planned sessions of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction resumes on the International Space Station. The landmasses depicted are the South Island (left) and North Island (right) of New Zealand.

You need to see this photo at full size to appreciate it. What you’re looking at is a shot from a 2006 space shuttle mission in which they worked on the construction of the International Space Station: Read more…

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Blind Space Engineer Saves the Day: No This Isn’t Star Trek but NASA!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 12, 2008 in Science, Star Trek

Geordi La Forge: From the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, played by LeVar Burton

Someday in the future spaceships will make use of talented but perhaps blind engineers to rescue the day? Yes it sounds like the character Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but no it’s the year 2008 and our hero is Marco Midon who works for NASA: Read more…

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Yes You Can Vote from Outer Space

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 4, 2008 in Science

Thanks to a bill passed by Texas legislators In 1997 astronauts have the right to vote. This year onboard the International Space Station Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff cast their vote via a secure electronic ballot. To celebrate this occasion the crew recorded this video urging their fellow earth bound citizens to get out and vote (which I more than concur with).

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