How Astronauts Use Laptops on the International Space Station

When the ISS was being designed, its architects wisely concluded that installing physical interfaces into the structure of the ISS was not a good idea. It's very hard to upgrade and/or repair interfaces that are part of the vehicle, whereas if laptop computers are used, upgrading or repair is as simple as launching a… » 11/05/14 11:24am 11/05/14 11:24am

The Space Station Had to Change Its Orbit to Avoid Space Junk

If you've seen Gravity, you know how it goes: Even a tiny speck of paint shooting through space at 18,000 mph can be catastrophic. So when a hand-sized piece of space debris was going to fly by the International Space Station last week, the European Space Agency fired up the thrusters on a resupply ship docked at the… » 11/04/14 1:52pm 11/04/14 1:52pm

How NASA Deals With Odor Inside the International Space Station

Space may be a vacuum, but at least aboard the International Space Station, smells still have plenty of room to waft. And considering the ISS has 6 living, breathing, excreting human beings living in such close proximity, some of those smells could get to be a major problem. Fortunately, NASA's accounted for that. » 10/21/14 4:00pm 10/21/14 4:00pm

Unbelievable view of the International Space Station

You are looking at the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer onboard the ISS. The news is that, "after accumulating years of data, [...] there are significantly more positrons than expected at the highest energies detected." Scientists believe their origin may be the destruction of dark matter, which is amazing. » 10/06/14 9:23pm 10/06/14 9:23pm

Space Station Defies Humans, Launches Satellites Without Permission

The International Space Station has a cannon that launches tiny CubeSat microsatellites into orbit. Most of the time, those launches are triggered by human scientists on board or back on Earth. But this week, the ISS launched two CubeSats entirely on its own. This is how the uprising begins. » 9/06/14 3:00pm 9/06/14 3:00pm

NASA's Using Space Laser to Download Video From Orbit at Gigabit Speeds

NASA's latest data download just covered way more distance, and contained way more awesome, than any earthbound file transfer: the agency beamed a high-def video down from the International Space Station this week using a high-powered laser. Go ahead and give your WiFi router a good stern look. » 6/07/14 10:00am 6/07/14 10:00am

This photo of the ISS looks like a scene from a space horror movie

If you told me this was a frame from Alien 5*—with some dude about to get into the dark corridor in which the xenomorph hides, waiting to kill him—I would totally believe you. In reality, it's another cool image by astronaut Reid Wiseman, who is now working in the International Space Station. » 6/05/14 12:15am 6/05/14 12:15am

These Are NASA's (Ugly) New Astronaut Shoes

On Thursday, NASA is sending the astronauts on the International Space Station a new pair of shoes. These so-called ForceShoes are not for space walks. They're actually a high tech measurement device that helps NASA scientists gain a better understanding of the effects that heavy loads have on astronauts' bodies. » 5/28/14 6:20pm 5/28/14 6:20pm

The SpaceX Launch Is Sending Dinosaur Microbes to the Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon capsule that just left Earth for the International Space Station is carrying many an important item: a new laser communication system, coffee (which they just ran out of!), a planter for fresh produce, and billions and billions of microbes swabbed from dinosaur bones, sneakers, and spacecraft clean… » 4/18/14 4:45pm 4/18/14 4:45pm

Soyuz Thruster Malfunction Has ISS Crew Running Two Days Late

Yesterday afternoon's Soyuz launch has hit a snag. A thruster misfire means the planned six-hour flight, delivering U.S. astronaut Steven Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev to the International Space Station, will now take two days. Talk about a terrifying flight delay. » 3/26/14 1:30pm 3/26/14 1:30pm