June 28th, 2011
06:14 PM ET

Glossary: lightyear

A lightyear, as defined by the International Astronomical Union, is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one Julian year. It is equal to roughly 10 trillion kilometers (about 6 trillion miles). A lightyear is one unit used to measure distances on a galactic scale.


Filed under: Glossary
June 28th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

Hardware in Orbit: International Space Station

The International Space Station is the result of years of collaboration by five individual space agencies (NASA, ESA, JAXA, ROSCOSMOS and CSA) and at least fifteen different partner countries. With materials launching from both the United States and Russia, construction on the station began in 1998 with the launch of the Zayra module and was officially completed in 2011.

ISS has been steadily inhabited for over ten years, with a new crew (Expedition) roughly every six months. The station has liveable space equivalent to that of a five-bedroom house, and is the length of an American football field.

The International Space Station is resupplied by Soyuz craft as well as automated transfer vehicles and, until its retirement, the Space Shuttle.

ISS crews work steadily to conduct research to advance scientific knowledge and develop new technologies.

More on ISS

Filed under: Hardware in Orbit
June 28th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Training for Expedition 28

"Attired in a training version of his Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum participated in spacewalk training in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Divers in the water assisted Fossum in his rehearsal, which helps prepare him and his fellow astronauts for work on the exterior of the International Space Station."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen
Astronauts take 'shelter' as space debris swings by
Crew members at the International Space Station took shelter inside the two Soyuz capsules after space debris was spotted.
June 28th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Astronauts take 'shelter' as space debris swings by

(CNN) - NASA ordered the six crew members at the International Space Station to "shelter in place" Monday when space debris came tumbling toward the station's orbit.

An all-clear announcement followed 41 minutes later. An investigation is under way to find out how close the debris came and where it was from, said NASA spokesman Joshua Buck.

FULL STORY at CNN.com
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Filed under: In Space • News
Tau Day celebrated with twice the pi(e)
June 28th, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Tau Day celebrated with twice the pi(e)

On the Internet, anything can be the basis for a holiday - even a number.

You may recall that the day honoring the number Pi - which is March 14 (3/14 ... get it?) - has become a worldwide phenomenon. Pi Day now features pie-eating contests, digit recitations and educational games.

And now, just when you thought the math holiday season was over, it's time for Tau Day!

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Math • On Earth

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    Senior Designer