Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

International Space Station

King's College London students sporting the gravity loading countermeasure skinsuit (Photo...

Researchers from King's College London working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have produced a skinsuit which, if worn by astronauts in outer space, could counteract the degradation of bone and muscle mass during long term exposure to microgravity.  Read More

Dragon is rotated to be mated to Falcon 9

SpaceX has delayed the scheduled launch of the third commercial flight of its unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 16 at 4:41 AM EDT from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, would have been the first mission of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with its landing legs.  Read More

The SPHERES robots were put through a simulated follow-the-leader exercise (Image: NASA)

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.  Read More

The Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft containing the crew of expedition 38 on its return to Earth (...

Crew members of Expedition 38 have safely returned to Earth, their Soyuz capsule setting down in Kazakhstan on Mar. 10 at 11:24 p.m. EDT. The astronauts and cosmonauts spent 116 days in space, carrying out a wide range of experiments and successfully executing multiple space walks.  Read More

Example of levitating and heating coil assemblies (Image: ESA)

Astronauts, get your welding goggles on – the space station is going into the foundry business. The International Space Station is set to do a spot of industrial research this June, when ESA’s Materials Science Laboratory-Electromagnetic Levitator heads for the station aboard Europe's’ ATV-5 Georges Lemaître unmanned space freighter as part of a program to study the casting of alloys in a weightless environment.  Read More

Chris Ferguson (center) at the simulator controls

The commander of the last Space Shuttle mission recently returned to space, but never left the ground. No, this isn’t one of those annoying lateral thinking puzzles. Chris Ferguson, commander of the STS-135 Atlantis mission in 2011 and currently director of Crew and Mission Operations at Boeing, went on a virtual flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in a ground-based simulator as part of NASA’s testing requirements for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft.  Read More

The SPHERES robots are designed for upgrading (Image: NASA)

If you want to know how big the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is at present, the answer depends on whether or not you’re counting the robots on board. Some of the non-human residents will soon be getting smarter, with NASA announcing that the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) robots currently on the station will later this year get a new smartphone. The increased capability of the soon to be Smart SPHERES is designed to help transition them from engineering testbeds to workaday companions that can take over some of the duties of the station astronauts.  Read More

Artist's conception of a quantum atomic gas undergoing laser cooling in an ultracold refri...

Quantum physics likes the cold. In particular, macroscopic quantum phenomena such as superconductivity, superfluidity, and Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) are only found at quite low temperatures. While current refrigeration methods can attain temperatures of a few nanoKelvins, attaining still lower temperatures is largely prevented by the need to support the cooling matter against the pull of Earth's gravity. Now NASA's Cold Atom Lab, scheduled for installation on the ISS in 2016, will aim for temperatures roughly four orders of magnitude smaller.  Read More

The Concordia Research Station's inhospitable setting makes it useful for studying the eff...

The Concordia Research Station, a joint interest between the French IPEV polar institute and the Italian PNRA Antarctic program, is by all accounts one of the most isolated and inhospitable locations available to humanity, requiring more time to reach than it takes to travel to the International Space Station (ISS). The European Space Agency (ESA) takes advantage of the facility's unique location and conditions, conducting extensive research into the implications of long-term space flight on the human body. Read on as we take a look at the conditions at the station, and the importance of the research being carried out there.  Read More

Russian cosmonauts laboured for six hours to install the cameras

On Jan. 27, two Russian Cosmonauts undertook a six hour spacewalk in order to install two new British-manufactured Earth imaging cameras to the Russian segment of the ISS. The initiative, announced in 2011, will allow anyone with an internet connection access to the near-live feed, which will provide higher quality results than the currently-installed standard definition cameras.  Read More

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