What Actually Goes Down on the International Space Station

The main purpose of the International Space Station is to provide an international laboratory for experiments within the space environment. Which, despite all our technological advances, is nearly impossible to replicate here on Earth. Because for many of those experiments, the key parameter is—you guessed… » 11/07/14 4:46pm 11/07/14 4:46pm

Yes, Time Travel Is Possible; Here's How

Time travel's been one of man's wildest fantasies for centuries. It's long been a popular trend in movies and fiction, inspiring everything from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to the Charlton Heston shrine that is The Planet of the Apes. And with the opening of Interstellar » 11/05/14 1:25pm 11/05/14 1:25pm

Orbital Sciences: Yep, That Old Soviet Engine Probably Blew Up Antares

When the Antares rocket exploded on the launchpad last week, a lot fingers pointed toward its 70s-era Soviet engine. Indeed, Orbital Sciences now confirms a malfunctioning turbopump in the engine was the likely cause of the explosion. The company remains committed to fulfilling its space station resupply contract… » 11/05/14 12:09pm 11/05/14 12:09pm

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

Extraordinary video of the ISS floating in space taken from Earth

ESA's Optical Ground Station took this extraordinary video of the International Space Station on October 8 as it was being illuminated by a 3.6-Watt 532-nm green laser. The video was taken at 7 frames per second, but the final effects is amazing. It's incredible to see it moving like that. » 10/15/14 9:02pm 10/15/14 9:02pm

Dragon spacecraft quickly firing thrusters to adjust course

Astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this sequence of the Dragon spaceship "breathing fire as it rendezvoused with [the International Space Station] last week." The spacecraft was firing its thrusters to adjust its course. The original video was quite shaky, so I stabilized it for your GIFing pleasure. » 10/10/14 12:50am 10/10/14 12:50am

The entire planet seems shrouded in one aurora in this space video

I would never get tired of looking through the cupola of the International Space Station, which is how I imagine Darth Vader's Death Star bedroom window. Astronaut/Captain America Reid Wiseman used it to record this great clip of an aurora. It makes Earth look like a magic green marble—or a palantir. » 9/30/14 10:48pm 9/30/14 10:48pm

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

What it's like to see cities from the ISS like an astronaut

You know how when you look outside the airplane window and you're in awe of all the lights and the outlines of the city and how you're in the freaking air? Yeah, that's nothing compared to the fun that is spotting cities from the ISS. Watch as astronauts show us what cities look like from space. » 9/04/14 1:25am 9/04/14 1:25am