Category Archives: ISS

ISS Reboost

As the International Space Station falls around the Earth, every now and then its orbit needs to be raised. A reboost was done very recently and ESA’s Tim Peake shows us how it was accomplished.

Pre-reboost: 398.2 x 407.4 km – inclination 51.64° – Period: 92.62min (247.4 x 253.1 miles)
Post-reboost: 402.1 x 406.9 km – inclination 51.64° – Period: 92.66min (249.9 x 252.8 miles)


Orbital’s Cygnus Departs ISS

Orbital’s Cygnus cargo ship will be leaving the International Space Station today.  The cargo ship is scheduled to be released from Canadarm 2 at 12:35 UTC.

After it is released there will be two thruster burns on the cargo ship to push it into the atmosphere where it will burn up over the Pacific Ocean.

Coverage starts at 12:00 UTC.  The deorbit burns and re-entry will not be shown on the video.


AggieSat4 and BEVO-2


Tim Peake captured this photo of the Texas A&M AggieSat4 and the Texas University BEVO-2 sats being released from the robotic arm in Japan’s Kibo Laboratory on 29 Jan 2016.  Each of the sats were built by the students in the respective schools.

Credit: NASA/ESA

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