I wanted to base a character around the phrase “waste of space”, so when I adopted this design from gtfomyigloo I decided to have fun with them.

This is Dross, an amnesiac trans dog boy. He’s what’s known in his society as a “space waster”; someone who shows up at a secluded space station with no money, no profession and no record (and in his case, no memory).

Dreamed of Being an Astronaut?

TweetChat with Astronaut Serena Auñón

Astronaut Serena Auñón hosted a TweetChat where she answered your questions on what it’s like to be an astronaut.

We’re currently accepting applications for the next astronaut class, until Feb. 18. You can find get details and apply HERE. The job posting is available on USAJobs.

Here are a few of the great questions she was asked:

You can check out the full conversation at the #BeAnAstronaut hashtag on Twitter. 

Follow astronaut Serena Auñón on Twitter.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

sciencealert.com
Earth is made up of two planets fused together, new research suggests
RIP, planet buddy.
By Fiona MacDonald

Astronomers investigating how the Moon formed have found evidence that it was produced after a small planet smashed headfirst into Earth around 4.5 billion years ago. And research suggests that this collision was so violent that the ‘planetary embryo’ that hit us, called Theia, ended up fusing with both Earth and the Moon as a result.

The idea that the Moon was formed as part of a Solar System crash isn’t new, but scientists in the past have proposed that Theia simply side-swiped Earth, blasting the Moon into orbit and then continuing off into space. Now new research by a team at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that Theia actually never left us.

Continue Reading.

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Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies

Here are some fun and unusual galaxies from the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, a catalog produced by Halton Arp. A total of 338 galaxies are presented in the atlas, which was originally published in 1966.

1. IC 883 (Arp 193), remnant of two galaxies’ merger    
2. Arp 147, an interacting pair of ring galaxies
3. Giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316
4. Interacting pair of galaxies: Arp 238 (UGC 8335
5. Merging galaxy pair named NGC 520 (Arp 157)

Vision & Microgravity...Can We See the Connection?

What do nutrition and genetics have in common? They could all be linked to vision problems experienced by some astronauts. We see people going up to space with perfect vision, but need glasses when the return home to Earth.

Why Does This Study Matter?

We want to be able to send astronauts to Mars, but losing vision capability along the way is a BIG problem. Discovering the cause and possible treatments or preventions will help us safely send astronauts deeper into space than ever before. 

It’s Like Solving a Mystery

We already have an idea of why vision changes occur, but the real mystery remains…why do some astronauts have these issues, and other’s don’t?

Now, let’s break it down:

Nutrition is more than just what you eat. It includes how those things work inside your body. The biochemistry behind how your muscles make energy, how your brain utilizes glucose and how vitamins help with biochemical functions…it’s all part of nutrition.

Genetics also play a part in the vision changes we’re seeing in space. Data shows that there are differences in blood chemistry between astronauts that had vision issues and those that did not. We found that individuals with vision issues had different blood chemistries even before their flight to space. That means that some astronauts could be predisposed to vision issues in space.

Just in January 2016, scientists discovered this possible link between genetics, nutrition and vision changes in astronauts. It makes it clear that the vision problem is WAY more complex than we initially thought. 

While we still don’t know exactly what is causing the vision issues, we are able to narrow down who to study, and refine our research. This will help find the cause, and hopefully lead to treatment and prevention of these problems.

Fluid Shifts

The weightless environment of space also causes fluid shifts to occur in the body. This normal shift of fluids to the upper body in space causes increased inter-cranial pressure which could be reducing visual capacity in astronauts. We are currently testing how this can be counteracted by returning fluids to the lower body using a “lower body negative pressure” suit, also known as Chibis.

Benefits on Earth

Research in this area has also suggested that there may be similarities between astronaut data and individuals with a clinical syndrome affecting 10-20% of women, known as polycystic ovary syndrome. Studying this group may provide a way to better understand vision and cardiovascular system effects, which could also advance treatment and prevention for both astronauts and humans on Earth with this disease.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com