Space travel was once so rarified that only the truly exceptional had even the faintest hope of ever becoming an astronaut.
They say that in space, nobody can hear you scream. What they don't say is that it's because it's damn loud up there. Astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the ambient noise aboard the International Space Station and sent it back down to Earth to give us all a sense of what it's like.
It's tough to sleep in space. You're stuck in a noisy machine all the time, the sun comes up every 90 minutes, and everything is lit with a garish sci-fi fluorescence. About half of all astronauts have to resort to drugging themselves at some point to fall asleep, and NASA wants to make things easier with the help of color-changing LED lights.
Thanks to the photographers and cameras on the International Space Station there's no shortage of amazing space imagery, most of which is easily accessible online. One film student from Italy decided to take some of that footage and create a time-lapse masterpiece.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA conducted an experiment in late October that used the "interplanetary internet" to drive an earth-bound rover. Astronaut Sunita Williams used a laptop with experimental technology called Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to control the rover using a network of connection points that more effectively controls data relay.
Here's the latest of NASA's daily ISS updates, including a peek inside Houston's Johnson Space Center International Space Station Flight Control Room.
Two days after launching from Cape Canaveral, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The Dragon carried mission critical supplies and helping of vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream, because if anyone deserves ice cream, it's astronauts.
Here's why we love NASA around here. The agency tends to hire those overachieving types that aren't just happy to command an International Space Station; they also complete the first triathlon in space while they're at it.
Two astronauts armed with a toothbrush, a wire cleaner and some nitrogen air boldly took their second spacewalk in less than a week. A faulty bolt was preventing the installation of a power station unit on the International Space Station, which was discovered after a marathon eight-hour spacewalk on August 30.
From playing vacuum didgeridoo to building Lego ISS replicas to taking incredible photos, astronauts onboard the ISS can't really complain about being bored. By far, the best activity in zero gravity yet is yo-yoing, and it's oddly mind-blowing to watch.