watch station

New Research Heading to Earth’s Orbiting Laboratory

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…dragon? A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is set to launch into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket toward the International Space Station for its 12th commercial resupply (CRS-12) mission August 14 from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It won’t breathe fire, but it will carry science that studies cosmic rays, protein crystal growth, bioengineered lung tissue.

Here are some highlights of research that will be delivered:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ISS-CREAM! 

Cosmic Rays, Energetics and Mass, that is! Cosmic rays reach Earth from far outside the solar system with energies well beyond what man-made accelerators can achieve. The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (ISS-CREAM) instrument measures the charges of cosmic rays ranging from hydrogen to iron nuclei. Cosmic rays are pieces of atoms that move through space at nearly the speed of light

The data collected from the instrument will help address fundamental science questions such as:

  • Do supernovae supply the bulk of cosmic rays?
  • What is the history of cosmic rays in the galaxy?
  • Can the energy spectra of cosmic rays result from a single mechanism?

ISS-CREAM’s three-year mission will help the scientific community to build a stronger understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe.

Space-grown crystals aid in understanding of Parkinson’s disease

The microgravity environment of the space station allows protein crystals to grow larger and in more perfect shapes than earth-grown crystals, allowing them to be better analyzed on Earth. 

Developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Anatrace and Com-Pac International, the Crystallization of Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) under Microgravity Conditions (CASIS PCG 7) investigation will utilize the orbiting laboratory’s microgravity environment to grow larger versions of this important protein, implicated in Parkinson’s disease.

Defining the exact shape and morphology of LRRK2 would help scientists to better understand the pathology of Parkinson’s and could aid in the development of therapies against this target.

Mice Help Us Keep an Eye on Long-term Health Impacts of Spaceflight

Our eyes have a whole network of blood vessels, like the ones in the image below, in the retina—the back part of the eye that transforms light into information for your brain. We are sending mice to the space station (RR-9) to study how the fluids that move through these vessels shift their flow in microgravity, which can lead to impaired vision in astronauts.

By looking at how spaceflight affects not only the eyes, but other parts of the body such as joints, like hips and knees, in mice over a short period of time, we can develop countermeasures to protect astronauts over longer periods of space exploration, and help humans with visual impairments or arthritis on Earth.

Telescope-hosting nanosatellite tests new concept

The Kestrel Eye (NanoRacks-KE IIM) investigation is a microsatellite carrying an optical imaging system payload, including an off-the-shelf telescope. This investigation validates the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as providing lower-cost Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations, such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.

Sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, the overall mission goal for this investigation is to demonstrate that small satellites are viable platforms for providing critical path support to operations and hosting advanced payloads.

Growth of lung tissue in space could provide information about diseases

The Effect of Microgravity on Stem Cell Mediated Recellularization (Lung Tissue) uses the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue. The cells are grown in a specialized framework that supplies them with critical growth factors so that scientists can observe how gravity affects growth and specialization as cells become new lung tissue.

The goal of this investigation is to produce bioengineered human lung tissue that can be used as a predictive model of human responses allowing for the study of lung development, lung physiology or disease pathology.

These crazy-cool investigations and others launching aboard the next SpaceX #Dragon cargo spacecraft on August 14. They will join many other investigations currently happening aboard the space station. Follow @ISS_Research on Twitter for more information about the science happening on 250 miles above Earth on the space station.  

Watch the launch live HERE starting at 12:20 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 14!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:


New Editor’s Pick 🔥

Resupply Mission Brings Mealworms and Mustard Seeds to Space Station

Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on November 11, 2017 from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. It will be packed with cargo and scientific experiments for the six humans currently living and working on the orbiting laboratory.

The cargo spacecraft is named the S.S. Gene Cernan after former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan, who is the last man to have walked on the moon.

Here are some of the really neat science and research experiments that will be delivered to the station: 

What’s Microgravity Got to do with Bacterial Antibiotics?

Antibiotic resistance could pose a danger to astronauts, especially since microgravity has been shown to weaken human immune response. E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) will study microgravity’s effect on bacterial antibiotic resistance.

Results from this experiment could help us determine appropriate antibiotic dosages to protect astronaut health during long-duration human spaceflight and help us understand how antibiotic effectiveness may change as a function of stress on Earth.

Laser Beams…Not on Sharks…But on a CubeSat

Traditional laser communication systems use transmitters that are far too large for small spacecraft. The Optical Communication Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) tests the functionality of laser-based communications using CubeSats that provide a compact version of the technology.

Results from OCSD could lead to improved GPS and other satellite networks on Earth and a better understanding of laser communication between small satellites in low-Earth orbit.

This Hybrid Solar Antenna Could Make Space Communication Even Better 

As space exploration increases, so will the need for improved power and communication technologies. The Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna (ISARA), a hybrid power and communication solar antenna that can send and receive messages, tests the use of this technology in CubeSat-based environmental monitoring. 

ISARA may provide a solution for sending and receiving information to and from faraway destinations, both on Earth and in space. 

More Plants in Space!  

Ready for a mouthful…The Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Microgravity via Rhizobium-Legume Symbiosis…aka the Biological Nitrogen Fixation experiment, will examine how low-gravity conditions affect the nitrogen fixation process of the Microclover legume (a plant in the pea family). Nitrogen fixation is a process where nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into ammonia. This crucial element of any ecosystem is also a natural fertilizer that is necessary for most types of plant growth.

This experiment could tell us about the space viability of the legume’s ability to use and recycle nutrients and give researchers a better understanding of this plant’s potential uses on Earth.

What Happens When Mealworms Live in Space?

Mealworms are high in nutrients and one of the most popular sources of alternative protein in developing countries. The Effects of Microgravity on the Life Cycle of Tenebrio Molitor (Tenebrio Molitor) investigation studies how the microgravity environment affects the mealworm life cycle.

In addition to alternative protein research, this investigation will provide information about animal growth under unique conditions.

Mustard Seeds in Microgravity 

The Life Cycle of Arabidopsis thaliana in Microgravity experiment studies the formation and functionality of the Arabidopsis thaliana, a mustard plant with a genome that is fully mapped, in microgravity conditions.

The results from this investigation could contribute to an understanding of plant and crop growth in space.

Follow @ISS_Research on Twitter for more information about the science happening on space station. 

Watch the launch live HERE on Nov. 11, liftoff is scheduled for 7:37 a.m. EDT!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

There’s been a mass shooting in Las Vegas and over 50 are dead as of 6:40 a.m.

It dethroned the Pulse attack for the worst mass shooting on American soil.

This is awful.

People who just wanted to have a good time at a concert had their happiness stripped away by a fucking monster.

As a person who lives close to Orlando and was impacted by the Pulse attack, I send my condolences to Las Vegas.

If they are requesting blood donations, please donate!

Over 200+ are injured as of 6:40 a.m. and we need all the supplies we can get!

Update at 9:20 a.m.: Please don’t talk about politics right now (just my opinion).

People are dead and injured and politics is the last thing that should be on someone’s mind. The best thing to do right now is help out and donate.

Update at 9:55: The injured toll has risen to 400+

I’m watching my local news station and they interviewed the suspect’s brother. He doesn’t know why his brother did this. He has a very distraught and traumatized expression.

He stated he had no radical political or religious affiliation and that he was a pretty chill guy.

Update at 10:07: Unfortunately will not be updating any further due to sickness and a headache.

As I said before, I send my condolences to everyone in Las Vegas right now, coming from someone who was personally impacted by the Pulse nightclub shooting. I’m sorry to those who were affected by this traumatizing situation.

Dream Vacations for the Signs

…because we all dream about being miles away sometimes. 

Hiking (Aries, Taurus)

listen and dream yourself away

being one with nature, waking up to the chirping of the birds and the rustling of the trees, bonfires, the overwhelming feeling of freedom, disbelief towards the beauty of nature, wind making your hair dance, physical exhaustion but mental satisfaction

Road Trip (Gemini, Sagittarius)

listen and dream yourself away

listening to music on full volume, old gas stations, watching the world roll past in front of the car window, constant airflow to make the heat more bearable, pulling up to go skinny dipping or watch the stars, genuine laughter, hanging your head or hands out the window

Holidays by the lake (Cancer, Capricorn)

listen and dream yourself away

solitude, peace and quiet, rowing on  a hot and sunny day, watching the lake wake up und go to sleep with beautiful sunrises and sunsets, hot tea and wine, being with your favourite person, finding yourself, being free from troubles, watching nature sitting on a gangplank wrapped in blankets

Holidays at the beach (Leo, Pisces)

listen and dream yourself away

the sun warming you inside out, collecting shells, wasting your time in the sun, fooling around in the water, listening to the steady rythm of the tides, sand sticking to your body, smelling the salty sea breeze, burning your feet on the hot sand, the smell of sunscreen

Holidays in the city (Virgo, Libra)

listen and dream yourself away

visiting museums, sitting in beautiful cafés watching all different sorts people, long strolls to all of your favourite places on a sunny day, eating ice cream, smiling to strangers, taking pictures, watching the city wake up from a rooftop, midnight kisses under the streetlights

Holidays in the jungle (Scorpio, Aquarius)

listen and dream yourself away

wavy hair and summer dresses, lying in the hammock, wasting your day at a lagoon, living where no one can find you, worshipping nature, waking up to hundreds of different noises, diversity of plants and colors and animals, feeling completely relaxed


In lieu of actual novel productivity, I decided to update the Harry Potter Dial Tone AU series I ended up writing from the gifset.

Thank you to everyone who has liked and commented on Dial Tone, and blew my feed up asking for more Cursed Child AU stuff. I may make these into small drabble things whenever the mood takes me. It’s fun to dabble in flash fiction again :)

I’ll get round to uploading the Cursed Child AU stuff to Ao3 too. But in the meantime enjoy some Duddley daughter happy feels.


“And you’ve got your wand,” Dudley asks again, for the umpteenth time since they left the house this morning. He wishes Kelly was here, but the relief work in Nepal is ongoing and he knows it’s selfish to think he needs her here more. They’d at least managed a grainy Skype call on Dudley’s beat up old laptop the night before, but he knew it wasn’t the same. “And your hat?”

“Yes, Dad.” Effie says, already nose deep in one of her new books. She’s got new glasses on too, sleek silver rimmed ones you’d never find on the NHS, but then Granny Petunia had insisted on paying the cost. “Did you know the ceiling in the Great Hall is spelled to look like the outside sky?”

“No, I didn’t” Dudley replies, grip tightening on the steering wheel until his knuckles turn white. He feels like he doesn’t know anything anymore. Maths homework he could deal with, even spelling had been manageable thanks to his own mother’s zeal for correctness when it came to the written word. But all of this was beyond him, it would always be beyond him. He doesn’t like it, but he has to deal with it, so he loosens his grip, flexing his fingers as they make the turn around the roundabout that will lead them toward London. “Tell me something more.”

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on a scale of one to ten i’d say i’m a very confused … five. you know how emotions can come and go in waves? this is how it’s been for me the last few days. i’ll say that after christmas i was starting to feel a bit better overall but it usually depends. i told a friend of mine that every morning i wake up feeling like a bit of a blank slate, one that’ll be influenced by whatever i see when i open up my twitter app. yesterday i felt pretty good but then the seasons greetings previews … broke me a bit. today i started off on a bad foot because i chose to stay up late (3am my time) and watch the station mv but i’m feeling okay again now. i know that this isn’t something unique to me either. a lot of my close friends have been feeling the same way and i figure many of the followers of this blog are as well. 

i’ve accepted that he’s gone in the most literal sense but i don’t think i’m to a point where i’ve accepted what that means for the future - or, at least, to a point where i want to acknowledge it in full. i know what it means but, as i’ve seen many say, it’s a very scary concept. thinking about it too hard will sometimes make me cry, and there have been other things that i have seen said and discussed that have made me angry but i think feeling like that is also natural. (i won’t elaborate because it’s more than one thing but you can probably figure it out if you think hard enough about it.) it’s only been twelve days. twelve days that have both went by fast and slow and that feel like nothing in comparison to the time that i have been a fan of jonghyun and shinee. (six years and five months) anyway, i know that i don’t have to rush anything. i don’t have to make myself “finish” up with my grieving because others have, or quicken it because some have come to terms with it faster than i have. everyone works at their own pace and i think i’ll get to a point eventually where i can look back on jonghyun and what he gave to us these last (almost) ten years without tears following closely after. but i do think that i’ll never completely get over the loss. there’s going to be some days when it really sucks, both random and “special” (like his birthday and shinee’s anniversary), but as said already: it’s different for everyone. 

anyway, once again, i hope that everyone is taking care of themselves and thank you for being so kind to me. 

anonymous asked:

Ok so on my way to the movie theater today we saw a vulture of some sort hop across the road. I got a good enough look at it and it looks exactly like a black vulture. Except that this would be to far north for it because as far as I know we only have turkey vultures here. So is there a chance it could've just be a juvenile turkey vulture or an actual black vulture? Location is central connecticut

Well, black vultures actually get surprisingly far north these days, especially up the east coast! They do have a rather distinctive head though, if you got close enough to see that - it’s very “emperor palpatine, but with actual redeeming features”

Juvenile turkey vultures, on the other hand, aren’t quite the distinctive red they get when they’re fully mature, but they’re more “darth vader, but as a good dad” than full-on palpatine

That being said, the easiest way to tell turkey vultures from black vultures is their wings - turkey vultures have distinctly two-toned wings, whereas black vultures just have a lighter starburst at their wingtips.

Anyways I know that didn’t really help you ID the bird you saw, but at least you got the vulture/star wars crossover that nobody but me asked for


It was hard to be Jewish in deep space, reflected Dave. He’d been on the SSN-296 “Endurer” for six months now out of a two-year tour, doing his bit on the massive, silent wheel that kept watch on the outskirts of the Solar System.

He’d often reflected that there might be other Jews among the 15,000-man crew, but he had never laid eyes on them until today, in the depressing steel-walled multipurpose room where the folding tables had been set up in a feeble approximation of a heymishe Shabbos dinner. As he toyed glumly with the flimsy plastic knife, he looked around to see other faces, space-lined or battle-scarred, looking equally bored. He didn’t know what he had been expecting when PO4 Clements had brought the sign-up sheet to his station (“Hey Rosey, heard about this?”) but this wasn’t it.

Still, he reflected, it was better than cracking open a box of vacuum-sealed kosher rations (Menu KM-23 “Sabbath Eve Meal”) in his cabin, making a lonely kiddush, and putting on some Eitan Katz to pretend he was back home. And the chicken, while dry, was real kosher chicken. The knishes were gummy, but they were knishes at least.

The rabbi who had put this on had been sent from Earth to make a yearlong tour of the Solar System watch stations, bringing Shabbos to Jews very far from Jerusalem. He was a young guy with a bristly beard and way too much enthusiasm. So far that wasn’t taking.

They had bashed their way through a halfhearted Shalom Aleichem, an Eyshet Chayil that brought back too many memories of home, mumbled kiddush and netilat, hamotzi over dry and crumbly freeze-dried rolls. This, Dave supposed, was the best he could get out here.

And then somebody started Vezakeyni.

It was a nasal, slightly off-key voice, but it swept the room like a tidal wave. Someone else picked up, and then someone else, and soon the whole room was singing at the tops of their lungs, Dave included.

By the time they got to me’irim et ha’olam, Dave was sobbing. The walls, it seemed, were shaking with the strength of the song. His fist hurt from pounding the table. And as he looked through the tears, it was as if he could see for the first time. The Jews around him were beautiful!

Sephardim, Ashkenazim, Cochin Jews, Abayuda Jews of Uganda. Tall skinny women who wore the Argentine flags on their Working Suits. Stocky men with large velvet kippot and Russian accents. Afro-American Ashkenazi Marine officers draped arms over the shoulders of Benzion from Afula (Water Purity Tech, 09887) and belted out the lyrics. A small group of Daromi Jews, converts from an “earthlike planet” near star M33, ably provided percussion by clicking their mandibles in time with the song.

Dave was lost, lost in Shabbos and the pure, timeless joy it brings. As they moved from song to nigun to song again, the worries of the Engineering Department slipped away, and for a moment he could see the candles, and beyond them, the walls of Jerusalem.

Shabbos, he knew in that moment, will keep the Jews so long as the Jews keep it.

And out in the wilderness of spacetime, a vast and crystalline creature, almost living, observed the situation with a logical and discerning eye. As it rotated, it spoke, summoning from the void around it a deeply calming rumble, a rumble that said, in clear Hebrew “MAY THE NEXT SHABBOS BE AS THIS ONE”

The creature next to it, almost exactly like it but slightly more angular, spoke as well. Its voice was one that could be considered to sound almost relieved, if you were in the habit of imparting emotion to the Malachim, the messengers of the One God.

“AMEN.” it said. And so it was.

You Bring Me Home

Alex had been told his entire life that when a person is about to die, their whole life flashes before their eyes.  But in that instance, that wasn’t the case. 

As he reached up, grasping at the black water and cursing the life vest that was doing nothing for him in this moment, he remembers thinking of her.

tw: I guess any tw that goes with the film (drowning mention, death, war, etc etc)  PTSD.


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“X station. Double X, Double X! Ugh… I’m sorry, Michaella, for buying something like this, instead of increasing your allowance. But, that’s all because of Hard Drive 4! This is the series that change my life. It’s the first new release in four years! And with that, food check ✔, drinks check ✔, never-made bed check✔ Now then… ah crap, my hand!”


[STATION] SMTOWN ‘Dear My Family (Live Concert Ver.)’ MV