Time for another roundup of some cool space stuff!
Happy Birthday to the International Space Station, which turns 15 years old today! The Russian-built Zarya module launched on November 20, 1998 and was the first piece of hardware to arrive in orbit. A few weeks later, the space shuttle arrived with NASA’s Unity module, joined the two together, and opened the hatches for the first time. Fifteen years and many, MANY pieces of hardware later…it’s still going strong!
NASA Johnson | Instagram
JSC is finally on Instagram, which is great — if there’s one thing NASA has in spades, it’s amazing photos. Do you have a favorite JSC-related photo? If so, let me know! I’ve been helping get this account up and running so maybe you’ll see your favorites show up in JSC’s Instagram feed one days…
A British Airways crew flying from London to Singapore last weekend happened to see Soyuz 35S’s fiery descent from their cockpit. They didn’t realize what it was at the time, but suspected it was something re-entering the atmosphere and contacted ESA.
“We spotted an object south of us that we could not identify. When it came closer it became a white ball of fire travelling at very high speed following roughly the curvature of the Earth disappearing over the horizon to the North.”
The crew thought it might have been a reentering satellite, but ESA was able confirm it was the Soyuz. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! So cool.
NASA Family Out of This World | Houston Chronicle
I’ve definitely developed a girl crush on Karen Nyberg, an ISS astronaut who just returned from a 6-month stint on the ISS. She shares so many of my interests — space! sewing! running! — and has a young child as well. I’ve read several work-life balance stories like this one about her, and I always appreciate hearing her perspective on work vs. motherhood even though her job is clearly more demanding than my own. While one part of me is somewhat bothered by the fact that this type of story is being written because she’s a women, my other half appreciates the perspective she provides by sharing her own experiences. It would be nice to hear more astronaut fathers talk about this as well.
Olympic Torch Completes Extreme Space Relay | Discovery News
Last week, the Olympic torch visited space for the first time ever! It launched with the crew of 37S on November 6 and returned with the crew of 35S four days later. During its brief stay on the ISS, two Russian cosmonauts also took it outside on a spacewalk. I’m not sure what the Russians intend to do with the footage — maybe it will appear in the Opening Ceremonies somehow? That would be cool.
Chris Hadfield Interview | Conan
The crew’s underwear is raining down on us. Classic.