alexander-gerst

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“It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative.”Michael Collins

Footage credit: ESA
Music credit: Burial- “In McDonalds”

(via On the Inside Looking Out – of an Orb of Water – Floating in Space. : The Scuttlefish)

…video of NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman, along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst,  as they test the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity – from inside the water.

While on Expedition 40, the astronauts at the International Space Station “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9ZEdApyi9Vw

Trees of death

This photo by Astronaut Alexander Gerst taken from the ISS captures trees growing in a part of the Amazon rainforest, but the type of tree is quite ironic. These are trees of deforestation. 

In this rainforest, deforestation tends to follow the roads. It begins with construction of a road, sometimes legal sometimes not, that basically serves as a trunk. From there, other roads are cut into the forest and farms are established along the roads. Those farms can be active for a few years, but the combination of nutrient-depleted soils and heavy rains that wash away soil force the farms to continually expand, cutting away at the forest around it.

This is particularly worth highlighting now, since we just noted that 2015 is considered the International Year of Soils and soil quality permeates this entire issue (http://fb.me/1wPzsUhIz

Viewed from above, this clearing basically starts as a trunk that grows branches and leaves that grow outward on the branches with time, except that the trunk, branches, and leaves are areas of the forest that have been clear-cut.

-JBB

Image credit: Astro Alex, ESA/NASA
https://flic.kr/p/pBs4Ks

Read more:
http://1.usa.gov/1xdVF9g