ISS stories

 
On Sunday, a group of amateur astronomers in San Antonio fired a one-watt blue laser up at the ISS and scored a direct hit, a first in ISS history. And instead of getting hunted down and arrested (which is what usually happens when you shoot lasers at flying things owned by the Feds), they got a congratulatory email from an astronaut.
 
Lego bricks are beloved all the world over — now they have made it into orbit as part of a joint NASA-Lego educational project. The model of the International Space Station (ISS) was created while in orbit as a way of engaging children as to what it is like living and working in zero gravity.
 
The lucky astronauts up on the ISS have one heckuva view. These recently released videos (put together from series of still images) show the space station flying over Mexio, the central and eastern United States, and Canada and the Aurora Borealis at night.
 
Well, this is no good: testing has revealed cracks in the Soyuz landing capsule that Russia was supposed to launch to the ISS, rendering it decidedly un-spaceworthy. The launch date has been rescheduled until April or May, meaning that SpaceX's Dragon capsule might be the next arrival at the ISS.
 
Before the jokes start, a zero gravity washing machine is not just another government boondoggle. Spare a thought for the poor astronauts who often spend months at a time on the International Space Station (ISS). Given that space is at a premium and regular resupply is not an option, that's a lot of stinky socks and underwear.
 
When a Russian Progress resupply capsule crashed on the way to the ISS last month, the worry was that a design flaw could mean the grounding of the only way to get astronauts to the station. Russia has now identified the cause of the crash, and while it's not a flaw in the design, it's something almost as bad.

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