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
June 27th, 2011
06:28 PM ET

Glossary: MECO

MECO is main-engine cutoff, the point at which a space craft's main engines stop firing. For the space shuttle, MECO occurs about 8 minutes after liftoff and indicates that the shuttle has reached orbit.


Filed under: Glossary
June 27th, 2011
01:24 PM ET

Seaside Sunrise

"The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean silhouetting space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the image taken on June 23, 2011."

Source: NASA


Filed under: Light up the screen
June 27th, 2011
10:47 AM ET

Can one idea be energy's holy grail?

Michel Laberge quit his job to invent a "glorified jackhammer" that he hoped would save the planet. That was 10 years ago.

Now, investors are betting more than $30 million on that jackhammer idea, which may yield a holy grail of energy - a safe, clean and unlimited power source called hot fusion.

Laberge is trying to do something that no one has ever done: create a controlled "net gain" fusion reaction that creates more energy than is required to produce it. It's the same process that powers our sun. If it works, it could solve huge problems like climate change, the energy crunch and reliance on foreign oil.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: On Earth
June 26th, 2011
06:21 PM ET

Glossary: SRB

An SRB is a solid rocket booster, one of the twin rockets that flank the space shuttle and provide extra thrust to achieve orbit.


Filed under: Glossary
June 26th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Hardware in Orbit: Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope is a school bus-sized telescope orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 353 miles. After its launch in 1990, Hubble made news for returning out-of-focus images, the result of spherical aberration in its primary mirror that was scattering the light about.

Hubble has since been serviced five times, beginning in 1993 with a mission to install COSTAR (the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement), which corrected the telescope's fuzzy vision. The last servicing mission was flown in May of 2009, when space shuttle Atlantis replaced two failed instruments and installed two new ones.

Over the course of 21 years, Hubble has returned hundreds of images of the cosmos around Earth, deepening scientists' understanding of the universe around us. The telescope is run 24 hours a day by four flight teams based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

More on Hubble

Filed under: Hardware in Orbit
Scientists: Saturn moon could support life
NASA's Cassini space probe snapped this photo of jets spewing from Enceladus, one of Saturn's 53 moons.
June 24th, 2011
05:28 PM ET

Scientists: Saturn moon could support life

Where there's salt, there's water and rock, it seems. And where there's water and rock, there could be life.

NASA's Saturn-exploring Cassini spacecraft has gathered new evidence that conditions on Enceladus, one of Saturn's 53 named moons, could support life, said Dr. Carolyn Porco, director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

"On Enceladus we have conditions under the surface that we know could be enjoyed by organisms similar to types of organisms we find right here on Earth," she said Friday.

FULL STORY at CNN's This Just In

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Filed under: In Space • News
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