A company called UrtheCast is going to bolt a pair of high definition video cameras with big zoom lenses onto the International Space Station. These cameras will send down live video of Earth 24/7, with a resolution comparable to Google Earth. In other words, you'll be able to see yourself waving. From space.
Whether or not they get their electricity from solar panels, satellites still need fuel to keep themselves from eventually crashing back to Earth in an apocalyptic fireball that might, but probably won't, land right on your head. The only way to extend their lifespan is with in-flight refueling, and a new gas station on the ISS might make that possible.
The first module of the ISS was launched in 1998. 13 years and somewhere between $35 billion and $100 billion later, the final assembly of the ISS was officially completed today with the installation of a laser-equipped extension boom for the station's robot arm.
There may be a little of color enhancement going on here, and it may also be a long exposure that's been mirrored over one axis, but, otherwise, this is exactly what it looks like when you burn a fuel droplet in microgravity.
As Endeavour launches for the last time, it will be carrying an absurdly expensive particle detector along with it. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will mount on the ISS and search space for antimatter, dark matter, dark energy, and even stranger things, like strangelets.
NASA is in talks with Bigelow Aerospace to potentially acquire a new inflatable module for the International Space Station. Yes, that's right: they're going to blow up the ISS.
That tiny speck in front of the moon is the International Space Station, which is traveling nearly five miles a second relative to us Earthlings. That means French photographer Thierry Legault only had 0.55 seconds to make the shot. He got it — and got one with the sun, too (during an eclipse, no less).
Take a Space Shuttle and cut it into a fourth. What do you now have? Duh, a mini space plane. Orbital Sciences Corp.'s wants these little shuttles to transport crews to and from the International Space Station.
It's a crazy thought, but the world's only manned space station right now — one built by the sweat of countries all the world over — is celebrating ten years of being continuously inhabited by a crew. In fact, this very day marks that milestone, and to celebrate, we've scrounged up 25 of the coolest images showing what it's like to live in orbit.
As America's space ambitions wane on a national level — NASA is currently being retooled to pursue next generation technology and not manned missions — China is looking to expand its presence in orbit. The country wants to have both crew and lab modules in space by 2020.