space travel


I <3 William Shatner on Twitter

edit 1: updated with 2nd Captains entry- conversation with Rosetta Mission

edit 2: updated with 3rd Captains entry- comms with Alexander Gerst

edit 3: updated with 4th Captains entry - comms with Alexander Gerst

edit 4: updated with 5th Captains entry - Philea away team 12/11/14

This is my favourite selfie. It has so many impressive things that make it amazing.

  • First of all it’s in space
  • It showcases the spacesuit in all its glory, tag and lights and all
  • You see the space camera, the Earth, and the ISS all in the reflection on the suit
  • Over the astronaut’s shoulder it is the infinite blackness of space
  • Over the other shoulder is the sun as a light source and the earth as a mirror to focus that light.
  • And for Tumblr to geek over, it’s a poc (Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide) taking the selfie

“There’s no way to anticipate the emotional impact of leaving your home planet. You look down at Earth and realize: You’re not on it. It’s breathtaking. It’s surreal. It’s a “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” kind of feeling. But I’ve spent a total of 55 days in space, over the course of five missions for NASA, and I’ve learned that being out there isn’t just a series of breathtaking moments. It’s a mix of the transcendently magical and the deeply prosaic. It can be crowded, noisy, and occasionally uncomfortable.”

"It turns out that once you’re actually in orbit, zero-g has some upsides. Without gravity, bodily fluids move toward your head. It’s a great face-lift. Your stomach gets flat. You feel long, because you grow an inch or two."

“One of the strangest experiences in space is one of the simplest on Earth: sleeping. On the shuttle, you strap your sleeping bag to the wall or the ceiling or the floor, wherever you want, and you get in. It’s like camping. The bag has armholes, so you stick your arms through, reaching outside the bag to zip it up. You tighten the Velcro straps around you to make you feel like you’re tucked in. Then you strap your head to the pillow—a block of foam—with another Velcro strap, to allow your neck to relax. If you don’t tuck your arms into the bag, they drift out in front of you. Sometimes you wake up in the morning to see an arm floating in front of your face and think, “Whoa! What is that?” until you realize it’s yours.”

Astronaut Marsha Ivins on life in space

Success is feeling good about the work you do throughout the long, unheralded journey that may or may not wind up at the launch pad. You can’t view training solely as a stepping stone to something loftier. It’s got to be an end in itself.

Col. Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

This book is FASCINATING, and so packed with smart ideas about how we should think about work and define success. Hadfield’s career is a great illustration of how “work hard and become really good at what you do” is a better path to finding a job you love than the old “follow your passion” trope. Oh, and it has space travel too. 


In 2 years, you’ll be able to take a flight 20 miles above the Earth

Two years from now, for $75,000, you’ll be able to head 120,000 feet into the air for a higher glimpse of Earth than any other living civilian has seen.

World View Enterprises, the company that is running the air balloon flights, just completed its first test flight from Roswell, N.M. to the edge of the stratosphere — 20 miles above Earth.

Beginning in 2016, the World View balloon is scheduled to lift a pill-shaped capsule carrying six passengers and two crew members 20 miles into the atmosphere. Once the structure arrives, it’ll hover for two hours, allowing passengers to walk around and take in the view before floating them back down to Earth.

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Man-made leaf turns CO2 into oxygen.

Julian Melchiorri’s invention uses chloroplasts taken from plant cells suspended in silk protein to create oxygen from carbon dioxide, light and water. 

In addition to its potential value to space travel, Melchiorri also imagines the technology literally providing a breath of fresh air to indoor and outdoor spaces here on Earth. The facades of buildings and lampshades could be made to exhale fresh air with just a thin coating of the leaf material.

But perhaps best of all, a man-made breathing leaf could be the key to not just space travel but space colonization. No need to figure out how to till that dry, red Martian dirt to get some nice leafy trees to grow; we could just slap them on the inside of the colony’s dome and puff away.