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Tag archives for astronauts

Spacesuit Flaw Prompts Christmas Eve Spacewalk

No place like home for the holidays? Two American astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be floating outside their orbiting home on Christmas Eve.   While a Saturday space walk to repair the orbiting laboratory’s faulty cooling pump was completed ahead of schedule, water leaks still plague one space-walk spacesuit. As a result,…

NASA Shutdown Unleashes Beautiful Astronaut Photos on Twitter

Despite the two-week old  government shutdown and NASA’s official online presence going completely dark, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have still been tweeting away and sharing some pretty spectacular snapshots. During the shutdown, NASA has kept Mission Control lights on at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, making sure that all communication lines…

Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter Dies

An explorer in space and in the ocean, Mercury 7 astronaut Scott Carpenter, died Thursday, of complications related to a recent stroke. He was 88. A U.S. Navy reconnaissance pilot during the Korean War, Carpenter was selected as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, making him an instant celebrity. The astronauts were chosen by…

Deep-Space Menu: Shrimp Paella and More

For the lucky few get to travel to space, the food isn’t exactly, well, out of this world. Most space cuisine consists of a limited selection of pre-packaged food prepared by adding water—possibly leading to “menu fatigue” that could compromise the crew’s health. Enter the “gastronauts”—a team of scientists with the NASA-funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation project (HI-SEAS) who are working to develop more appetizing and healthy foods for long-term space travel. Think shrimp paella, curry chicken crepes, and chocolate pudding with raspberries.

Space Beer Ready for Taste Testing

It’s probably no surprise that today’s astronauts are discouraged from drinking on the job. Space tourists, however, may have different expectations. Enter Australia’s 4 Pines Brewing Company, which this Saturday will be conducting human experiments in Florida—taste testing space beer. (Related: “‘Global Warming Beer’ Taps Melted Arctic Ice.”) According to ABC Melbourne, the brewery has…

Mars Colony Needs Doctors, Soldiers, Engineers … and Artists?

If you love the red planet, you’ve probably been following the exploits of the Mars500 crew, a team of European, Russian, and Chinese volunteers who are conducting a mock mission to Mars. Run by Russia’s Institute for Biomedical Problems and the European Space Agency, the Mars500 project aims to simulate the psychological challenges involved in…

A Challenger Tribute, 25 Years in the Making

Twenty-five years ago today, seven astronauts embarked on NASA’s 25th space shuttle mission, on January 28, 1986. The shuttle Challenger lifted off from Launch Complex 39-B at Kennedy Space Center at 11:38 a.m. local time. Then, 73 seconds into the flight of STS-51L, the shuttle was engulfed in a cloud of vapor as it began…

So You’ve Got the Guts to Go to Mars–But Do You Have the Brains?

Since posting last week about volunteers for a one-way trip to Mars, several of you have written in asking where to sign up. Planetary scientist Pascal Lee at Haughton Crater, Devon Island, wearing the upper torso of an advanced space-exploration concept suit (color-enhanced image). —Photograph courtesy NASA Haughton-Mars Project/Pascal Lee Hearing your comments and suggested…

Carnival of Space #170

Welcome, ladies and gents, to this week’s Carnival of Space, the 170th performance of a spectacular show filled with thrills, chills, and amazements! —Image by Victoria Jaggard This is my debut as host of the Carnival here at Breaking Orbit, but I’m no First of May when it comes to showcasing the wonders the cosmos…

Video: Moon Rover Boogies Down

Well, who knows at this stage whether NASA will ever get its next-generation ATHLETE rover onto the moon or Mars. But at least we can rest assured it’ll provide any future astronauts with hours of entertainment: From moon buggy to moon boogie.

What Does It Take to Be an Astronaut?

That was the most asked question during an event this morning at the National Air and Space Museum featuring the crew of STS-132, the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station. A student asks a question of the STS-132 crew. —Image by Eric Long/NASM Well, the final “scheduled” flight, anyway.…

Final Space Shuttle Launches Delayed

NASA announced today that they’ve officially decided to postpone the final two space shuttle launches, pushing Discovery’s launch to November and the [supposed] last-ever shuttle launch featuring Endeavour to February 2011. For followers of the intrepid space agency, news of the delay—or any delay, really—will surely come as no surprise. Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off…

Discovery Comes Home

After traveling more than 6.2 million miles in just over 15 days, the space shuttle Discovery glided back to Earth this morning, touching down at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 9:08 a.m. local time. —Photo courtesy NASA/Bill Ingalls The mission, known as STS-131 among NASA folk, marks the second of the “final five” launches of…

Apollo 11 Mania

Did you hear? Today, July 20, 2009, is the 40th anniversary of the day humans first set foot on the moon. Yeah, I know. If you read newspapers/watch TV/surf the web/opened your door this morning, you’ve probably been flooded with Apollo 11 news by now. On one hand, it’s quite the achievement worth celebrating. On…

Monkeys in Outer Space: 50 Years Later

—Image courtesy NASA Thankfully this is not a very odd sort of suppository. This is a squirrel monkey called Miss Baker, sitting in a NASA bio-capsule. On May 28, 1959, Miss Baker and a rhesus monkey named Able became the first primates to survive a trip into outer space. Both monkeys flew onboard a Jupiter…