International Space Station

Sense Hat Comes Alive

Remember the Raspberry Pi Sense Hat? Originally designed for a mission to the International Space Station, the board has quite a few sensors onboard as well as an 8×8 RGB LED matrix. What can you do with an 8×8 screen? You might be surprised if you use [Ethan’s] Python Sense Hat animation library. You can get the full visual effect in the video below.

The code uses an array to represent the screen, which isn’t a big deal since there are only 64 elements. Turning on a particular element to animate, say, a pong puck, isn’t hard with or without the library. Here’s some code to…

Want to Help NASA Make a FabLab in Space?

Ever dreamt of designing a makerspace for astronauts to use? NASA is accepting prototypes and applications from the public to put a makerspace aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Many people do not realize that the public can interact with, and more specifically work with NASA. The agency releases public calls for proposals and prototypes all the time. Anyone, including small businesses and individuals, can submit designs for consideration.

International Space Station astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore holds a science sample container that took two hours to make in December 2014. The container was the first object to be printed with two parts: a lid and a cup. Photo is courtesy of NASA

This time, NASA specifically wants a FabLab, or makerspace, on the International Space Station. They are not planning on…

Watch Lightning From Above, Thanks to a New Satellite

At a safe distance, lightning can be one of nature’s greatest shows, but big electrical storms are even more incredible when seen from space. Astronauts on the International Space Station get a very exclusive view, but NASA’s new GOES-16 satellite is making that perspective available to everyone. It recently captured a huge electrical storm as it swept across the eastern United States.

The newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), launched last November, hangs out 22,300 miles over the Americas and collects weather data…

A Brief History of Soyuz 1, Fifty Years Later

On April 23, 1967, the Soviet space program launched its first-ever Soyuz spacecraft with a person in it. The flight was plagued with technical problems and ended in tragedy. But 50 years later, we’re still using descendants of the Soyuz to ferry people and supplies to and from space, most notably the International Space Station. The Soyuz rocket is, by far, the most used and most reliable space launch system humans have ever built. Unfortunately the first Soyuz pilot didn’t survive.

Soyuz 1’s pilot was cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet test pilot and engineer who had previous experience in space. His voyage on the mission made him the first Soviet cosmonaut to make a second trip into space. He also became the first person to die on a space mission.

The tragedy of Soyuz 1 started with political pressure. Soviet leaders apparently wanted to celebrate Lenin’s April 22 birthday with the Soyuz launch. They were also keen to beat the Americans to the moon, and the Soyuz program was akin to NASA’s Apollo—aimed at an eventual lunar landing. Apollo was suffering, as the Apollo 1 crew had died that January on the ground in a terrible fire. If the Soviets could get Soyuz running, it would be a massive leap. Despite many technical setbacks on the ground, Soviet leaders pushed for Soyuz 1 to launch.

While cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (the first human in orbit) was listed…

A Brief History of Soyuz 1, Fifty Years Later

On April 23, 1967, the Soviet space program launched its first-ever Soyuz spacecraft with a person in it. The flight was plagued with technical problems and ended in tragedy. But 50 years later, we’re still using descendants of the Soyuz to ferry people and supplies to and from space, most notably the International Space Station. The Soyuz rocket is, by far, the most used and most reliable space launch system humans have ever built. Unfortunately the first Soyuz pilot didn’t survive.

Soyuz 1’s pilot was cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet test pilot and engineer who had previous experience in space. His voyage on the mission made him the first Soviet cosmonaut to make a second trip into space. He also became the first person to die on a space mission.

The tragedy of Soyuz 1 started with political pressure. Soviet leaders apparently wanted to celebrate Lenin’s April 22 birthday with the Soyuz launch. They were also keen to beat the Americans to the moon, and the Soyuz program was akin to NASA’s Apollo—aimed at an eventual lunar landing. Apollo was suffering, as the Apollo 1 crew had died that January on the ground in a terrible fire. If the Soviets could get Soyuz running, it would be a massive leap. Despite many technical setbacks on the ground, Soviet leaders pushed for Soyuz 1 to launch.

While cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (the first human in orbit) was listed…

Peggy Whitson Breaks NASA Record for Most Days in Space

History was made this morning at the International Space Station. On April 24, Peggy Whitson marked 534 days, two hours, and 49 cumulative minutes in space, earning her the record for longest time spent off the planet for a U.S. astronaut, Fortune reports.

Since launching her career with NASA in the 1980s, Whitson has racked up a list of accomplishments. The biochemist worked as NASA’s first science officer during her first trip to the International Space Station in 2002. She returned in 2008 as a commander, and on her most recent visit, she became the first woman to command…

A Brief History of Soyuz 1, 50 Years Later

On April 23, 1967, the Soviet space program launched its first-ever Soyuz spacecraft with a person in it. The flight was plagued with technical problems and ended in tragedy. But 50 years later, we’re still using descendants of the Soyuz to ferry people and supplies to and from space, most notably the International Space Station. The Soyuz rocket is, by far, the most used and most reliable space launch system humans have ever built. Unfortunately the first Soyuz pilot didn’t survive.

Soyuz 1’s pilot was cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, a Soviet test pilot and engineer who had previous experience in space. His voyage on the mission made him the first Soviet cosmonaut to make a second trip into space. He also became the first person to die on a space mission.

The tragedy of Soyuz 1 started with political pressure. Soviet leaders apparently wanted to celebrate Lenin’s April 22 birthday with the Soyuz launch. They were also keen to beat the Americans to the moon, and the Soyuz program was akin to NASA’s Apollo—aimed at an eventual lunar landing. Apollo was suffering, as the Apollo 1 crew had died that January on the ground in a terrible fire. If the Soviets could get Soyuz running, it would be a massive leap. Despite many technical setbacks on the ground, Soviet leaders pushed for Soyuz 1 to launch.

While cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (the first human in orbit) was listed…

Top 5 Uncommon Jobs In The US And How To Get Them

uncommon jobs
uncommon jobs

The stars and sky don’t fascinate everyone. Furthermore, not everyone has the desire to leave the planet to explore.

This is what makes Clayton C. Anderson different from most people. Clayton was an astronaut and previous resident of the international space station for 152 days. In his book, “An Ordinary Spaceman”, he explains that when he started as an astronaut candidate, he earned $90,000. When he retired, he was on a salary of $150,000.

Despite the digits, being an astronaut is not always about the money. As British astronaut Tim Peake said of space travel, “Living and working on board the International Space Station is the best place you could be as a professional.”

So, how do you become an astronaut? NASA’s basic requirements involve:

  • Receiving a bachelor’s degree from a university accredited for mathematics, engineering or physical science….