international station

So unreal to complete my first Mission Control shift!! (With a mentor)

Got to coordinate with people in Alabama and Japan, give one of the ISS GOs for the initial Dragon launch attempt (hopefully all goes well tomorrow!), and send commands to the International Space Station.

I love my job 🌎🚀🎉😍 #foreverfangirling


Oddly enough, Kate Rubins journey to space started in central Africa.

“If you put your finger on a map in the middle of Africa, that’s about where our field site was located,” says Rubins, a microbiologist as well as an astronaut.

It was 2007, and an airplane touching down on a grass runway in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had brought Rubins and her colleagues to study a nasty outbreak of monkey pox in a remote village. She’d already spent time studying HIV, Ebola and smallpox in the lab.

This time the airplane wouldn’t be back for six weeks.

Rubins didn’t know it at the time, but that remote expedition gave her experience she’d eventually draw on during a much bigger journey — to outer space. And while, she doesn’t fit the normal astronaut profile. Many start out as military pilots, engineers or doctors — not microbiologists studying viruses. But she got the job.

A Microbe Hunter Plies Her Trade In Space

Photo by NASA Johnson/Flickr and NASA


the view from the international space station, some 250 kilometres above earth. travelling at nearly 2900 kilometres an hour, it orbits the earth every ninety minutes. consider that if the earth was the size of a basketball, our atmosphere would be as thick as a sheet of paper. the reds and greens you see illuminating our atmosphere is the result of airglow (though in some of these it’s also the aurora). for more on airglow, see this post.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this incredible picture of the Progress MS-03 spacecraft burning up in Earth’s atmosphere last week. Launched in July, 2016, the spacecraft spent more than seven months docked at the outpost, burning up on January 31.

Progress is not the only spacecraft whose reentry has been visible from the ISS. Multiple flights of the ATV have seen their end of mission events documented from the lab, as well as shuttle reentrys. 

Since visiting spacecraft must launch in the same orbital plane of the ISS, the complex is flying overhead of the launch site during a mission’s ascent. As such, crewmembers have also been able to document the launch of many craft, including Progress MS-02 and Cygnus OA-4.