Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov will be heading to the ISS for the third time next month, and he believes that bacteria samples that have been collected from the outside of the space station came from space, not Earth. Locally-sourced microorganisms have been found growing on the station before, but this latest batch is special, Shkaplerov claims.
The good news is that he says the samples are still being studied and appear to be safe. Yeah, safe — for now.
We already know that fluid behaves differently in zero-G. What we didn’t realize is that, given enough time, the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull’s brain cavity flows willy-nilly and can eventually press on the backs of the eyeballs enough that they flatten a bit. And changing the shape of the eye even a little is enough to impair the ability to focus.
At the moment, NASA has no plan to prevent this as there’s no way to control where fluid flows within the skull. The only current possibilities are either shorter stays or inventing artificial gravity — which introduces its own problem:
Roommates can be annoying, even if you’re good friends with or are married to them. But the good thing is that you don’t have to stay cooped up with them if you don’t want to. You can leave your place for a while and cool off. But your options are limited if you’re on the International Space Station.
American astronaut Kjell Lindgren learned that one of his friends died recently, and did what anyone else in morning would do, annoy the hell out of his roommates. He played the bagpipes, an instrument known for its unpleasant sound and volume. To honor his fallen friend, Lindgren played “Amazing Grace” on some bagpipes he had sent up on a recent supply mission for this reason. That means he knowingly trapped his roommates thousands of feet above the Earth and made them listen to his music.
Japan’s space program may not get as much attention as ours or the Russians’, but, brother, do they have their interstellar priorities straight. And by “straight,” we mean straight whisky.
Japanese distillery Suntory plans to send five kinds of whiskey, as well as a 40% ethanol, to the International Space Station to see how they mature in microgravity. There, the booze will embark on a several year mission to seek out more complicated tones and potentially mellower flavors, to boldly nose like they have not nosed before. NASA officials and Suntory spokespeople did not mention whether they believe exposure to cosmic rays will make the whiskies more fantastic like the Fantastic Four or just become a lot of empty marketing for something ultimately flavorless like the Fantastic Four movies.
Last week, the Russians launched a supply ship to the International Space Station, but when it got to space, it started spinning out of control for no reason. Scientists have since given up on the craft. The bad news is that it’s going to crash into the Earth tomorrow.
The other bad news (sorry, did you think this was a good news/bad news situation?) is that researchers have no idea where it’s going to hit. They can only guess as to the day it will crash with its three-ton payload. So look up on Friday, you could die in the most awesome way possible.
NASA wants to make space farmers out of its once-proud astronauts.
In a project led by scientists at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, some sort of system is going to be set up on the International Space Station allowing the crew to grow their own vegetables. This can’t be a good idea.
With all the cosmic rays and such, this significantly increases the odds of killer tomatoes attacking.
NASA ground controllers briefly lost contact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday. The sexy pinnacles of American, Russian and Canadian physical and mental prowess were left unattended for three hours due to a computer problem.
Who knows what they were doing up there, all alone, with no supervision, gravity or rules …
We, the people of Earth, welcome the U.S.-Russian-(really?) Canadian blackout super-baby as our new overlord.
(Yes, The Guys are fully aware that all six members of the current ISS crew are men. But, who knows what space radiation does to a man, and have you seen Chris Hadfield’s Swanson of a mustache? Who could quit that?)
We already have a pretty good idea of how astronauts go to the bathroom. (It involves a vacuum cleaner and true grit.) We know how they eat. (Acrobatically.) We even know how they sleep. (Restrained to a wall because you’d have to be insane to eat and go to the bathroom in space.)
To date, they’ve been living the high life, wearing their underwear fresh out of the pack and then incinerating them. But, a new washing machine on the International Space Station could force them to live like the rest of us: wearing each pair until they run out, putting on swim trunks and washing them in a new low-power, low- water washing machine.
At least now we know that our collection of astronaut undies were a fraud.