Category Archives: ISS

London Calling


This look at London at night comes from NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren during a nighttime flyover of London on the International Space Station.


Ping Pong

What does one do for fun after 300 days in space? Scott Kelly likes ping pong. Actually scientists use the microgravity environment of the space station to advance scientific knowledge in Earth, space, physical, and biological sciences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible down here on the planet.

According to NASA: The paddles are polycarbonate laser etched so that the surfaces are actually arrays of 300 micrometer posts (0.3mm). The surfaces were then spray coated with a Teflon coat. The combined effects of surface roughness and non-wettability produce a super-hydrophobic surface capable of preventing water adhesion in dynamic processes. The larger the drop, the less force it takes to break it up. The smaller the drop, the harder you can hit it. Scott is demonstrating about a 4 mL drop (over 100 times larger than a rain drop).


Aurora From Space


This was the NASA Image of the Day. The aurora as seen from the ISS over the Pacific Northwest. I was outside about the right time and saw no sign of an aurora, but I DID see the planetary line-up and it was excellent, will be looking this morning too.

NASA’s image caption:

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and ESA astronaut Tim Peake shared a series of aurora photographs taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 20, 2016. Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) wrote, “#goodmorning #aurora and the Pacific Northwest! #YearInSpace” and Peake (@astro_timpeake) followed up with, “Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical #aurora”

The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views on the ground, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

Image Credit: ESA/NASA

Spacewalk Preview

The two Tims are going to have a long day outside the ISS.   Tim Kopra of NASA and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) will primarily perform work to replace a voltage regulator that compromised one of the station’s eight power channels when it failed last November. There will be a link for a live feed (USTREAM) up about an hour before the 12:55 UTC / 07:55 EST EVA.


Tim Peake Ready for a Walk


There will be a live link here on Friday well before the EVA begins at 12:55 UTC / 07:55 EST so if you are at work with internet access you can give it a look.

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) shared this photo taken aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 11, 2015, during preparations for a spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Peake wrote, “Final suit fit check prior to Friday’s EVA – feels just great! #Principia #spacewalk”

On Friday, Jan. 15, Expedition 46 flight engineers Tim Kopra of NASA and Tim Peake of ESA will venture outside the space station’s Quest airlock to replace a failed voltage regulator that compromised one of the station’s eight power channels last November. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:55 a.m. EST and will be the third in Kopra’s career and the first for Peake, and the 192nd for maintenance of the space station. It will be the 35th spacewalk using the U.S. Quest airlock. Additional tasks include deploying cables for the future installation of an International Docking Adapter that will accommodate U.S. commercial crew vehicles, and retrieving a broken light from a truss camera.

Image Credit: ESA/NASA


There was a launch earlier of a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station:

and there was a EVA from the International Space Station here is a bit of the video:

I tried to post live links but technical problems made that impossible.