Recently in the ISS Category


Microscopes afford us the opportunity to look at particles that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, but these particles can sometimes be masked by gravity.

Inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, scientists prepare Apogee wheat seeds for the science carrier, or base, of the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH).

When you need tools or parts for something you're working on around the house, you head to the nearest hardware store.

This month, NASA took a major step toward creating a Solar System Internet by establishing operational Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) service on the International Space Station.

Understanding how fire spreads in a microgravity environment is critical to the safety of astronauts who live and work in space.

Cubesats Ready For Launch From ISS

Cubesats leaving the Japanese airlock ready for launch. Dove Cubesats deployment for Planet Labs‚Äč constellation Flock 2.Larger image Credits: ESA/NASA

After a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, NASA's two Nodes satellites were deployed on May 16 from the NanoRacks platform and into low-Earth orbit to begin their much anticipated technology demonstration.

Tim Peake: Great to see DIWATA-1, the first Filipino microsatellite, launched today from the International Space Station to observe Earth and climate change.

Mini-computer Astro Pi isset up aboard the International Space Station and is looking out the window.

Following the success of the 'Astro Pi' competition, there is a new competition offering UK school children the chance to send their computer code to ESA astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station (ISS).

At 15:55 CET today two ESA CubeSats, the student-built AAUSAT5 and the professional technology demonstrator GomX-3, were deployed from the International Space Station (ISS).

Small Satellites Provide Big Payoffs

When we think of space satellites that assist with communications, weather monitoring and GPS here on Earth, we likely picture them as being quite largemany are as big as a school bus and weigh several tons.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) "KiboCUBE".

Putting a round peg in a round hole is not hard for someone standing next to it. But ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen did this while orbiting 400 km up aboard the International Space Station, remotely operating a rover and its robotic arm on the ground.

Early September will see the very first force-feedback-based teleoperation of a rover-based robotic arm system on Earth from the International Space Station, orbiting 400 km above our heads.

NASA and Microsoft are teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Samantha Cristoforetti: The elegant beauty of our solar panels. Still fascinated by the elegant beauty of our solar panels. #OurOutpostInSpace

Equipment and data from the SpinSat investigation returns to Earth today, May 21, 2015, with splashdown of SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft following its release from the International Space Station's robotic arm at 7:04 a.m. EDT.

In a milestone for space robotics, the International Space Station has hosted the first full run of ESA's experiment with a force-reflecting joystick.

SPINSAT Experiment on ISS

US Astronaut Terry Virts works with the SPINSAT an expimental device aboard the International Space Station that tests movement and positioning of small satellites in space using new technology micro-thrusters.

Aboard the International Space Station: this image is a Close-up view of hardware for a chemistry experiment and was taken in the Rassvet Mini-Research Module.

The International Space Station's 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions.

Europe's very first 3D printer in space is scheduled for installation aboard the ISS next year.

NASA's ISS-RapidScat wind-watching scatterometer, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Sept. 19, will be the first science payload to be robotically assembled in space since the space station itself.

Deploying Cubesats From the ISS

In the grasp of the Japanese robotic arm, the CubeSat deployer releases a pair of NanoRacks CubeSat miniature satellites.

Robotic Refueling Mission Upgrade

Who doesn't love an upgrade? Newer, better and oh so shiny is great, but what's really fantastic is when a change unlocks new possibilities. That's the case with NASA's fix-it investigation on the International Space Station, the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM).

NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.

More than 200 middle and high school students from the Peninsula and surrounding school districts in Virginia spent the last year designing projects that could make living in space a little easier for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, or ISS.

More CubeSats Deployed From ISS

The deployment of miniature satellites from the International Space Station continued Thursday.

Legs For Robotnaut 2

NASA engineers are developing climbing legs for the International Space Station's robotic crewmember Robonaut 2 (R2), marking another milestone in space humanoid robotics.

Mission controllers have confirmed that a small satellite launched from the International Space Station last week has successfully entered its orbit.

Cubesats Launched From ISS

Three nanosatellites, known as Cubesats, are deployed from a Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (SSOD) attached to the Kibo laboratory's robotic arm at 7:10 a.m. (EST) on Nov. 19, 2013.

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announce an authentic science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations.

Space Droids Calling

Secondary-school students can play the ultimate robot game: the annual Zero Robotics tournament turns the International Space Station into a playing field for European students to control minisatellites with self-developed software.

3-D Manufacturing in Space

In preparation for a future where parts and tools can be printed on demand in space, NASA and Made in Space Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., have joined to launch equipment for the first 3-D microgravity printing experiment to the International Space Station.

An Interview with Don Pettit

Kerry Ellis: Astronaut Don Pettit began his career with NASA seventeen years ago and has since flown on three spaceflight missions. Logging more than 370 days in space and over 13 spacewalk hours, he lived aboard the International Space Station for five and a half months during Expedition 6, was a member of the STS-126 crew, and again lived aboard station for six and a half months as part of the Expedition 30/31 crew.

NASA will host a one-day event for 30 social media followers on May 22, 2013, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, home of Mission Control. The NASA Social will give guests an opportunity to learn more about the International Space Station, the scientific research conducted aboard, and the unique purpose-built facilities on the ground that enable this research. Participants will also have a chance to ask questions of space station management and scientists on the upcoming mission.

CASIS Rolls Out CASIS Academy

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, showcased its new education website, "CASIS Academy," over the weekend at the National Science Teachers Association conference in San Antonio, Texas.

NASA Solicitation: SPHERES INSPIRE II

"NASA Headquarters has a requirement for support services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and the execution of specific Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-requested technology development and science experimentation based on the unique SPHRERES facility onboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA Headquarters intends to purchase these services from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sole source. MIT Space Systems Laboratory is uniquely qualified to perform these supporting services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and to enable the execution of specific DARPA-requested technology development and science experimentation because they created the SPHERES facility and hold proprietary ownership of the date. MIT has proprietary rights to the software components of the SPHERES facility and is uniquely qualified to integrate the Universal Docking Ports (UDPs) and Robotic Arms, and to expand the software components to enable this hardware to be used both by DARPA researchers and Zero Robotics Competition." More

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest open innovation platform and competitive community of digital creators, today launched the first two of a series of open innovation challenges to create a new dietary tracking application for use by astronauts in an International Space Station (ISS) -type environment. The ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App Conceptualization and Voice Command Idea Generation and other competitions are now open on the ISS FIT Challenge home page (TopCoder and TopCoder Studio registration required). These are the first two of multiple phases of the challenge which will build a fully functioning iPad application from concept to deployment using TopCoder's open innovation Community and process. The complete challenge series is sponsored by NASA through its NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), an online virtual facility that harnesses the capabilities of the TopCoder Community to create innovative, efficient solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by the space agency." More

"The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced it will provide up to $100,000 in grant funding for qualified research projects as part of its partnership with the "MassChallenge Startup Accelerator." MassChallenge is the largest-ever startup accelerator, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs without taking any equity. Its four-month program offers world-class mentorship, free office space, $1 million in cash awards, and up to $10 million through in-kind support. To date, MassChallenge alumni have collectively raised over $360 million in outside funding, generated nearly $100 million in revenue, and created nearly 3,000 jobs since 2010. As per the agreement with MassChallenge, CASIS will commit up to $100,000 to any winning proposal that is deemed flight-ready for research on board the ISS. CASIS funds for qualified research proposals on Station are not part of the original MassChallenge award, but are offered on top of any other grants received through the contest." More

NASA wants to know how you can improve the International Space Station as a technology test bed. NASA's International Space Station National Laboratory and Technology Demonstration offices are asking for proposals on how the space station may be used to develop advanced or improved exploration technologies. NASA also is seeking proposals about how new approaches, technologies and capabilities could improve the unique laboratory environment of the orbiting outpost.

"NASA engineer Dan Dietrich and a team of scientists at Glenn developed the Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) to monitor the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production rates of astronauts exercising during long missions. The portable unit was designed to give the crew the ability to move around the spacecraft without being tethered to a large immovable unit. PUMA measures six components to evaluate metabolic function: oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, and gas pressure and temperature. From those measurements, PUMA can compute the oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output and minute ventilation (average expired gas flow rate). A small, embedded computer takes readings of each sensor and relays the data wirelessly to a remote computer via Bluetooth." More

"Operating droids in space was no obstacle for a German-Italian alliance to reach the finish line of the Zero Robotics tournament. The European winners commanded mini-robots to dodge virtual dust clouds and rendezvous with disabled satellites, all in the weightlessness of the International Space Station. This year's competition gave over 130 high-school students from across Europe the opportunity to operate droids in space by coding software. Six alliances made of teams from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal witnessed how their computer codes worked in the Space Station from ESA's ESTEC space research and technology centre in the Netherlands The RetroSpheres space game involved two mini-robots racing through a course using the least amount of fuel. During the three-minute programmed dance, the volleyball-sized spheres moved using 12 squirts of compressed gas. Competitors could collect extra fuel from decommissioned satellites and deorbit the satellites for extra points while navigating through their opponent's dust clouds." More

Robot Spheres in Zero-Gravity Action

"A squadron of mini satellites on the International Space Station will wake up this Friday to obey remote commands from students across Europe. Up until now the students have run their code in a virtual world, but this Friday the high-school finals will be held using the real thing: robotic droids on the International Space Station. This year's RetroSpheres scenario involves using the Spheres, which move using jets of compressed gas, to push simulated space debris out of orbit. Six alliances made of European finalists from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal will confront each other and see their computer code operate robots in space for the first time. ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers will provide commentary from ESA's space research and technology centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands, as NASA's Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn set up the games on the Station. Over 130 students will be at ESTEC with Andre to learn more about robotics and run their code on the Spheres floating in the Space Station." More

"NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully have used an experimental version of interplanetary Internet to control an educational rover from the International Space Station. The experiment used NASA's Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol to transmit messages and demonstrate technology that one day may enable Internet-like communications with space vehicles and support habitats or infrastructure on another planet. Space station Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams in late October used a NASA-developed laptop to remotely drive a small LEGO robot at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The European-led experiment used NASA's DTN to simulate a scenario in which an astronaut in a vehicle orbiting a planetary body controls a robotic rover on the planet's surface." More

"NanoRacks (NR) today announced the selection of a winning proposal for their Announcement of Opportunity for off the shelf NanoLabs on the International Space Station. Infinity Aerospace was selected for their proposal to design, develop and market an Arduino based, open-source, 1U NanoLab for use on the NanoRacks space station research platforms, as well as all other platforms including Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. "The community was challenged to create an open source, easy to use NanoLab and Infinity Aerospace's proposal hit the target beautifully, both in the technical design and the spirit of the competition," explained Richard Pournelle, senior vice-president of NanoRacks. Under the terms of the AO, the winning entry receives $2,000 in seed funding from NanoRacks, technical assistance on complying with NASA space station safety requirements, and the ability to have their winning products marketed by NanoRacks' to their educational and research customers." More

Using Space Internet to Control Robots

"ESA and NASA have tested a communications protocol that will allow astronauts to control robots from space stations orbiting planets or asteroids. The test marks the way for a trial-run with an astronaut on the International Space Station next week. Last week a Space Station user centre at the University of Boulder, USA sent a command to a NASA laptop on the International Space Station to start a script that controlled the Mocup robot at ESA's ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The robot was commanded to move forward and take pictures, which it performed as planned. Mocup is one of the robots in ESA's Meteron - Multi-purpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network - initiative for future missions to the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies. Space exploration will most likely involve sending robotic explorers to test the waters on uncharted planets before sending humans to land." More

LEGO in Space

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No it's a Satellite! Rocketing Into Space with LEGO Education and NASA!

"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No it's a Satellite! Rocketing Into Space with LEGO Education and NASA! Crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) will share with students what satellites can be used for. Crew will also explain how these communication devices are launched and carried into space. Students will then be asked to think of other ways to use information gathered from satellites and design their own custom satellite. Topics covered include developing an awareness of outer space, exploring communication devices and understanding data collection. Check out the video with lesson plans here."

Other Lego postings

"SSEP offers a unique flight opportunity that allows students to experience both the excitement and the challenges inherent in conducting research in a microgravity environment," said Roosevelt Johnson, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It really is STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in action, using the International Space Station -- which has America's only orbiting National Laboratory -- to host these students' science experiments. Twenty-three microgravity experiments designed by participants of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) will become part of space history Oct. 7. They will be launched to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon, the first commercially developed and built American spacecraft to fly a resupply cargo resupply mission to the station." More

"NASA engineers, student interns and amateur radio enthusiasts around the world are listening for signals from a small, cube-shaped satellite launched into orbit from the International Space Station Thursday. The satellite, dubbed "TechEdSat," was released at 11:44 a.m. EDT from the new Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer aboard the space station. TechEdSat measures about 4 inches (10 centimeters) on a side and carries a ham radio transmitter. It was developed by a group of student interns from San Jose State University (SJSU) in California with mentoring and support from staff at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. TechEdSat arrived at the space station aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle July 21 and the station's Expedition 33 crew processed it for launch." More

"Douglas, Isle of Man-based Odyssey Moon Ltd. and Israeli-based NSL Satellites Ltd., in partnership with NanoRacks LLC of the U.S., together will fly a number of educational microgravity experiments to the International Space Station (ISS). The next launch of an experiment is scheduled for October 7th on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. Rick Sanford, CEO of Odyssey Moon, said, "We at Odyssey Moon are so excited about this opportunity to give students around the globe access to the NASA U.S national lab. For a start-up space technology company it is very impressive that we have lined up over three successful commercial space missions in a three year period." The three different experiments will look at how cancer cells develop in microgravity, another will determine the direction of the sprouts/roots growth of radish seeds under microgravity, and there is an experiment to examine the hardening of an epoxy resin sample to test the characteristics of the mix in microgravity conditions. These experiments are being developed by Israeli students in Misgav Middle School and OR High School." More

Minature MRI For Astronauts

"Astronaut health is a huge concern, as studies have shown muscle and bone mass are at risk on longer missions; that's just what we know about, too. The problem is how to fit out a space station or future moon base with medical equipment compact and safe enough to do the job. Now, thanks to researchers in Canada, there is a compact magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) machine that could one day head to space to help astronauts." More at DVICE

"NASA is announcing opportunities for academia, industry and government agencies to develop and carry out research and technology demonstrations on the International Space Station using the newly installed Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN) testbed. There are two announcements of opportunity. The SCAN Testbed Experiment Opportunity invites industry and other government agencies to enter into Space Act Agreements with NASA to use the space station's SCAN platform. The SCAN Testbed Cooperative Agreement Notice invites academia to develop proposals to use the orbiting laboratory's SCAN testbed research capabilities. NASA expects the first demonstrations by late 2013 or early 2014. These opportunities will allow researchers to develop new software according to the Space Telecommunications Radio Standard (STRS) architecture for radios and reconfigure how radios communicate in space." More

2012 Zero Robotics High School Tournament

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators, today announced that the next Zero Robotics High School Tournament will take place this Fall, offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space. The popular Zero Robotics program, created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory and its partners, challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code, all from a web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists are selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station!" More.

"Microflow is a miniaturized version of a flow cytometer (a common research or clinical laboratory instrument used for a range of bioanalysis and clinical diagnoses). Microflow can spot cells and biological molecules rapidly by using optical fibre-optic technology to detect them in a sample of liquid as they pass single-file in front of a laser--all within 10 minutes. Different detectors positioned at the point where the stream meets the laser can analyse the physical and chemical properties of molecules or cells in the sample. Unlike most current flow cytometers (which are used only in labs because they can weigh hundreds of pounds and take up as much space as three laser printers and an espresso machine), Microflow weighs less than 10 kg and takes up about the same space as a toaster. Microflow's small size and light-weight make it ideally suited for use in space, since it costs much more to launch heavier objects into space, and bulky objects are more difficult to stow aboard sleek spacecraft and the ISS." More

"Winners of the YouTube Spacelab competition will get to see their experiments in space on 13 September. ESA astronaut Frank De Winne will participate in the live event, transmitted from the International Space Station to the world via YouTube. Frank De Winne, Head of the European Astronaut Centre, acted as one of Europe's jurors of the international student competition. NASA, YouTube, ESA and Lenovo today announced the culmination of the YouTube SpaceLab competition in which astronauts will reveal the results of the two winning experiments live from the International Space Station and share them online on YouTube. The livestream will connect the Station to YouTube's London studio on Thursday, 13 September beginning at 13:30 GMT (15:30 CEST)." More.

A small ball-shaped science satellite is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member after its deployment during a session of extravehicular activity (EVA). Earth's horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene. More

NanoRacks Announcement of Opportunity-1

"NanoRacks, the leading company in low-earth orbit research and educational utilization, seeks to further stimulate the market for International Space Station usage by offering to designate and promote up to five (5) companies that can offer for retail sale NanoLabs for use in NanoRacks hardware now on the space station and on suborbital platforms. The purpose of this AO is to help create a robust, standardized ecosystem that makes use of the NanoRacks research platforms now permanently onboard the U.S. National Lab on International Space Station as well as for possible use in other environments, such as onboard the Virgin Galactic suborbital SpaceShipTwo research racks. We believe that hardware that can be used on the space station that is low-cost and standardized allows researchers to focus their budget and time on the payload itself. It is our hope that this further lowers the barriers to microgravity utilization." More.

"NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) seeks industry, academia, government and NASA interest in conducting small modular technology demonstration experiments (TDEs) on the exterior of International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment-X (MISSE-X). The MISSE-X Project is currently developing the MISSE-X facility. The initial deployment of the MISSE-X payload to ISS is scheduled for 2016. The MISSE-X project will transfer control and operation of the MISSE-X facility to ISS Program beginning in 2017. A more detailed description of the MISSE-X project is included as an attachment to this RFI. The MISSE-X Project Office is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to obtain Letters of Interest from aerospace technology developer's who are interested in using the MISSE-X facility beginning in 2017 and continuing throughout the life of ISS. The project office will use these letters to help assess the potential interest in the MISSE-X facility and to demonstrate industry, government, and academia support for MISSE-X on ISS." More

"Engineers and student interns at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., are gearing up to support and witness what may be the most thrilling ride a nanosatellite has ever taken. This October, for the first time, a small cubesat - a satellite weighing less than two pounds, housed in a 10 cm cube - will be one of five to jettison into orbit around Earth from the International Space Station.

The pioneering satellite, dubbed TechEdSat, is a collaboration among Ames; San Jose State University; the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) via AAC Microtec, Uppsala, Sweden; and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). TechEdSat is set to launch to the space station along with other experiments and essential supplies in the "Kounotori 3" H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3) at 7:06 p.m. PDT Friday, July 20, 2012, from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan."

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New NanoRacks' Software Platform Speeds Space Customer Payloads to International Space Station

"A new software platform designed to ease the passage of payloads from earth to space was announced today at the AAS Space Station Research and Development Conference by NanoRacks, LLC, the leading company for space utilization. Payload TrackerTM is the first ever user-friendly tool that is specifically designed to allow customers, government officials, launch providers and others to track individual payloads through the myriad NASA safety and procedural requirements involved in launching customer project to the International Space Station."

SPHERES Zoom Around the Space Station

Photo: Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) Flying Inside the Space Station

"Two bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites Zero Robotics (SPHERES ZR) are pictured during a test session in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station."

Space Station Live! App Available

NASA Offers Web, Mobile Links to Follow Space Station and Mission Control

"NASA is using the Internet and smartphones to provide the public with a new inside look at what happens aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and in the Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Log onto the agency's Space Station Live! web page or download the companion ISSLive! mobile application to get up-to-the-minute information."

Conrad Foundation and NanoRacks Team to Fly Student Experiments in Space using American Express Points

"Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, today announced the Foundation has joined forces with NanoRacks LLC, the leading company for low-earth orbit utilization, to launch a new program called DreamUp. The program will assist students in raising money to participate in a unique educational experience - conducting experiments in the microgravity of space. DreamUp is the first program to enable students to use American Express(R) Membership Rewards(R) points to fund student experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS)."

Conrad Foundation and Nanoracks To Fly Student Payloads in Space

"Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, today announced the Foundation has joined forces with NanoRacks LLC, the leading company for low-earth orbit utilization, to launch a new program called DreamUp. The program will assist students in raising money to participate in a unique educational experience - conducting experiments in the microgravity of space. DreamUp is the first program to enable students to use American Express(R) Membership Rewards(R) points to fund student experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS)."

Dragon Has Student Payloads Aboard

SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to Space Station

"The SpaceX Dragon capsule, which on Tuesday became the first commercially developed and built spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station, is carrying among its cargo a suite of 15 science experiments designed by students. Known collectively as Aquarius, the experiments will assess the effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems. The students have been immersed in every facet of research, from definition of the investigation to experiment design, proposal writing and a formal NASA proposal review for selection of flight experiments."

Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA has taught more than half a million internet viewers how microgravity affects scientific principles by using everyday objects on the International Space Station. In the latest video, Pettit takes his demonstrations to the next level by using sound to oscillate water placed on a speaker and letting the droplets fly.

The investigation is part of "Science off the Sphere," a video series featuring experiments of Pettit's own design intended to show scientific possibilities on the frontier of space. NASA and the American Physical Society, or APS, developed a partnership to share the videos with students, educators and science enthusiasts across the globe.

Growing Veggies in Space

ORBITEC "grows" NASA business with two new awards

"Orbital Technologies Corporation, "ORBITEC," has been awarded two new NASA contracts for engineering support and flight hardware production related to life science activities on the International Space Station. The programs awarded were for ORBITEC to support the development and flight of the "VEGGIE" system and the Advanced Plant Habitat at the NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the space station. VEGGIE, an expandable and deployable vegetable system, was developed by ORBITEC to grow salad crops to supplement prepackaged foods during long stays in space. The primary goal of VEGGIE is to provide flight crews with palatable, nutritious, and safe sources of fresh food with minimal volume and operational resources. Significant, beneficial plant and life science experiments can also be conducted in the VEGGIE system. VEGGIE is designed as a very small module during flight stages and is later "unfolded" for growth operations."

Mission-X 2012 Winners Announced

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

"Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly. This year's challenge involved 10 300 students exercising hard over six weeks since it was launched from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on 2 February. The aim: gain points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon. Points were earned by completing challenges inspired by astronaut training."

CASIS and NanoRacks Announce Expanded ISS Research Capabilities

"The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the non-profit organization managing the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, today announced a deal with NanoRacks, LLC, to reserve space on the first commercial platform available for researchers outside the ISS in the extreme environments of space."

CASIS and NanoRacks Close Deal to Use Commercial Research Platform in the Extremes of Space

"In June, CASIS will issue a formal solicitation to the research community and private enterprise for their proposals to use this one-of-a-kind platform for anything from earth observation to materials, and biological sciences."

Commercial Platform Offers Exposure at Space Station< NASA

"The contributions by NanoRacks and Astrium are the most recent example of NASA efforts to expand the station's research capacity through innovative partnerships with commercial companies."

SPHERES operates inside the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). As shown in the diagram below, we've defined a JEM coordinate system with X forward, Y starboard, Z toward the deck, and the origin in the middle of the module. For our test, Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum velcroed the smartphone to the -X face of the sphere and placed the sphere at the origin of the coordinate system. From a laptop, he ran a program on the sphere to translate it one meter to +X and back to center, one meter to +Y and back, and one meter to +Z and back. Then the sphere made a full rotation about each of the X, Y, and Z axes.

NASA Astronaut to Name Global Winners in YouTube Space Lab Contest

"NASA astronaut Suni Williams will announce Thursday the two winners of the YouTube Space Lab contest, a global science competition that challenges 14-18 year-old students to design a science experiment for the International Space Station. Thousands of individuals and teams from more than 80 countries entered the competition to have their experiment flown in space. Williams will perform the two winning YouTube Space Lab contest experiments 250 miles above Earth during the Expedition 32 and 33 missions on the space station later this year."

Autonomous Space Capture Challenge Opens Algorithmic Crowdsourcing to General Public

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators and MIT, today announced registration has opened for the Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, an algorithm competition from Zero Robotics which seeks computationally efficient code solutions for a hypothetical mission scenario which models autonomous docking or satellite servicing procedures. The online challenge is open to all eligible participants but especially teams from high schools and colleges. Four winning submissions will be tested aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in the recently established SPHERES national laboratory by astronauts. Successful teams will be invited to watch the event live onsite at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or via webcast feed remotely."