1. earth-as-art:


  2. spaceplasma:

    15 Years of the International Space Station

    The first International Space Station component, the Russian Zarya module, was launched in November 1998. In the 15 years since, NASA and its global partners have built a world class orbiting laboratory, establishing a continuous human presence in space since 2000 and paving the way for future exploration beyond.

    Credit: NASA

    (via n-a-s-a)


  3. Lining Up the Sun, Moon, and ISS

    While the Moon was busy passing between the Sun and Earth on January 4 for the first eclipse of 2011, theInternational Space Station (ISS) made its own pass between them. Powered by the Sun, orbiting the Earth, a satellite like the Moon—the ISS is an expression of how humanity is connected to and keeping an eye on all three bodies.

    This photo was taken by astrophotographer Thierry Legault, who set up near Muscat, Oman, to capture this view at 1:09 p.m. local time (9:09 UTC) on January 4, 2011. He had to shoot quickly, as the transit of the space station through the field of view lasted just 0.86 seconds. The ISS was moving at 7.8 kilometers per second (17,000 mph).

    The disk of the Sun is partly obscured on the lower left, as the Moon is 20 minutes past the maximum eclipse. The edges of the image are black because the light filters are strong, like a welder’s mask, to prevent sunlight from damaging the camera.

    The partial solar eclipse was the first of four in 2011, with others coming on June 1, July 1, and November 25. Eclipses occur when the new Moon passes in the line between Sun and Earth. Because the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 5 degrees to Earth’s, the Moon and its shadow often pass above or below the plane of the Earth. Because both orbits are elliptical, the size and shape of eclipses changes slightly with each event.

    The image also includes sunspots 1140 (bottom) and 1142 (center), part of solar cycle 24, which should reach maximum in the next two years. Each spot was only producing relatively weak B-class solar flares on the day of the eclipse. Sunspots, flares, and great eruptions known as coronal mass ejections will become much more common in coming months, and each produces its own type of disturbance on Earth, including radio noise, auroras, and satellite and electric power disruptions. The solar cycle also plays a role in Earth’s climate.

    As for the space station, it is passing overhead regularly, as it makes 15 to 16 circuits around the Earth each day. It can pass through your local skies anywhere from one to three times per day, depending on your latitude and the path of the orbit. You don’t have much time to spot it, though, as it crosses the sky in just a few minutes.

    “Most people don’t know that, under the right conditions, you can use a telescope to actually see the shuttle and ISS this clearly,” writes astronomer Phil Plait, “and even then it ain’t easy.”

    Photograph courtesy of Thierry Legault. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.

    Instrument: Photograph

  4. Two Earth Satellites Viewed From Houston

    This photograph taken from Houston, Texas, juxtaposes Earth’s oldest satellite with one of its youngest. The Moon is thought to have been formed by the impact of a large body (perhaps Mars-sized) with the early Earth approximately 4.6 billion years ago. In contrast, the first components of the International Space Station (ISS)assumed orbit around the Earth in 1998, with assembly completed 13 years later—a significant period of time to us, but the merest fraction of a second in the history of the Moon.

    While the ISS appears to be fairly close to the Moon’s surface in the image, it’s a trick of perspective. The Moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 384,400 kilometers (238,855 miles), while the ISS orbits at altitudes ranging from approximately 330 to 410 kilometers (205 to 255 miles).

    The ISS can frequently be viewed from the Earth’s surface with the naked eye as a bright object moving rapidly across the sky. The ISS has also been photographed from Earth transiting more dramatic backdrops, such as the Sun.

    As can be seen in the high-resolution version of this image, major structural elements of the Station—such as the solar panel arrays—can be resolved using high-powered binoculars or lenses. Major features of the lunar nearside surface are likewise discernable with the naked eye, the most obvious being the dark maria lowlands (mare in plural) contrasting with the bright highland regions (or terrae). With moderate magnification, other features such as impact craters become clearly visible; for example, Copernicus and Tycho Craters.

    Photograph JSC2012-E-17827 was acquired on January 4, 2012, with a tripod-mounted Nikon D3S digital camera using an effective 1200 mm lens (600 mm lens and doubler), and is provided by NASA Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by photographer Lauren Hartnett, and has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast and remove lens artifacts. Caption by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs Technology/ESCG at NASA-JSC.

    Instrument: Photograph

  5. colchrishadfield:

    With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here’s Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World.

    Huge thanks in the making of the video to the talented trio of Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran and Andrew Tidby, plus Evan Hadfield and all at the CSA.


  6. fyeahcosmonauts:

    The Soyuz has launched! Everything nominal so far.

    (via spaceandstuffidk)


  7. spacewatching:

    First Woman to Command the International Space Station

    March is the annual celebration of National Women’s History Month.

    In this image from Jan. 30, 2008, Expedition 16 commander Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, participates in a seven hour, ten minute spacewalk. During the spacewalk, Whitson and astronaut Daniel Tani, flight engineer, replaced a motor at the base of one of the station’s solar wings.

    (via spaceandstuffidk)


  8. motherjones:


    Hadfield becomes first Canadian commander of ISS

    Commander Chris Hadfield has been delighting people around the world with his Twitter photos and videos from the International Space Station, and Wednesday he officially took the reigns of “the world’s spaceship” as the first Canadian to command the ISS. 

    See his full statement here.

    We love that there is a “Canadian of the Week” Tumblr.


  9. New ISS Eyes See Rio San Pablo

    In January 2013, a new Earth-observing instrument was installed on the International Space Station (ISS). ISERV Pathfinder consists of a commercial camera, a telescope, and a pointing system, all positioned to look through the Earth-facing window of ISS’s Destiny module. ISERV Pathfinder is intended as an engineering exercise, with the long-term goal of developing a system for providing imagery to developing nations as they monitor natural disasters and environmental concerns.

    The image above is the “first light” from the new ISERV camera system, taken at 1:44 p.m. local time on February 16, 2013. It shows the Rio San Pablo as it empties into the Golfo de Montijo in Veraguas, Panama. It is an ecological transition zone, changing from agriculture and pastures to mangrove forests, swamps, and estuary systems. The area has been designated a protected area by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) of Panama and is listed as a “wetland of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention. (Note that the image is rotated so that north is to the upper right.)

    “ISERV’s full potential is yet to be seen, but we hope it will really make a difference in people’s lives,” said principal investigator Burgess Howell of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “For example, if an earthen dam gives way in Bhutan, we want to be able to show officials where the bridge is out or where a road is washed out or a power substation is inundated. This kind of information is critical to focus and speed rescue efforts.”

    (Source: earth-as-art)


  10. colchrishadfield:

    Success! Canadarm2 holds Dragon by the nose, to drag it up and hook it on to a Station hatch.


  11. discoverynews:

    Space Station Berths a Dragon, Again

    At 5:31 am EST Sunday morning, International Space Station astronauts guided the Canadarm2 robotic arm to an earlier-than-scheduled grappling maneuver with the SpaceX Dragon capsule. The grapple was scheduled for 6:31 am ET. At 8:56 am EST, the robotic arm guided the capsule for installation onto the Earth-facing port of the space station’s Harmony module. Read more

    Awesome news!




  14. colchrishadfield:

    Look closely - a spaceship is closing in on us! Progress approaching to dock with the Space Station yesterday.


  15. for-all-mankind:

    Atlantis as seen from the ISS, 19 July 2011. Backing away from the station for the final time, the Shuttle is hidden in Earth’s Shadow.

    (via spaceandstuffidk)