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International Space Station

Humans have entered SpaceX's Crew Dragon while in orbit for the first time, just hours after the commercial spacecraft docked at the International Space Station on Sunday morning.

Crew Capsule Rockets Toward Space Station With Test Dummy

Mar 3, 2019
NASA

America's newest capsule for astronauts rocketed Saturday toward the International Space Station on a high-stakes test flight by SpaceX.

Brendan Byrne / WMFE

Middle school students at Faith Christian Academy in Orlando had an out-of-this-world experience — the chance to talk with an astronaut on the International Space Station. The school partnered with amateur radio operators to connect with the station last week.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Nearly two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Kelly holds the American record for the longest consecutive time in space, after a 340-day mission to the International Space Station in 2015 and 2016.

Since returning to Earth, he's written a number of books about his experiences, including "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery," and a children's book, "My Journey to the Stars."

SpaceX Sticks The Landing

Dec 22, 2015
SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched and landed  a Falcon 9 rocket. It’s a historic event for the private space company.

About ten minutes after liftoff Monday night, a Falcon 9 rocket was safely back at Cape Canaveral.

It’s the first time the private space company SpaceX successfully recovered a spent rocket. Previous attempts to land the first stage on a barge were close – but ended in failure.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station received a shipment that included whiskey on Monday but they won't be allowed even a taste test.

Update at 5:20 p.m. ET: Space Lettuce Tastes 'Awesome'

Monday morning on the International Space Station, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren and astronaut Kimiya Yui of Japan sampled the "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce, the first plant grown in space. The trio first sanitized the leaves and then dressed them with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. According to Kelly, the lettuce tasted "kind of like arugula." Lindgren was unequivocally pleased, taking a big bite of one of the leaves and declaring: "That's awesome."

Russia's space agency is trying to save an unmanned cargo ship that spun out of control on its way to the International Space Station.

Ron Garan

Retired Astronaut Ron Garan tells WUSF's Robin Sussingham in this interview, "we need to find the low-hanging fruit" of international cooperation. He is the author of the book The Orbital Perspective.

In space, all they have is instant.

"For an instant coffee, it's an excellent instant coffee," says Vickie Kloeris, who manages the space station's food supply for NASA. Astronauts are allotted up to three freeze-dried cups (pouches, actually) a day, and Kloeris says it's "extremely popular."

But, she adds, "Can it compete with brewed espresso? No."

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft by a day, after fast-approaching storm clouds moved into Cape Canaveral, Fla., according to the AP. In a tweet, SpaceX said the next opportunity for a launch will be Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Our original post continues:

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A Russian rocket has carried a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to the International Space Station, where they will live for a full year, twice as long as people usually stay.

No American has remained in space longer than 215 days. Only a few people have ever gone on space trips lasting a year or more — the longest was 437 days — and they're all Russian cosmonauts. The last year-plus stay in space occurred nearly two decades ago.

After spending nearly six months on the International Space Station, an astronaut and two cosmonauts have landed safely back on Earth. While in orbit, they traveled almost 71 million miles, NASA says.

Cmdr. Barry Wilmore of NASA and flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) touched down in Kazakhstan on Thursday morning, local time.

Astronauts at the International Space Station have ventured outside to perform a challenging cable installation on their orbiting platform.

Spacewalkers Terry Virts and Butch Wilmore have 400 feet of cable to install as well as two sets of antennas.

At first, the kids in the auditorium at Richmond Heights Middle School weren’t sure a they'd hear a voice above the ear-burning static.

Dade Radio Club of Miami president Miguel Garate kept signaling the space station.  

“NA1SS, NA1SS, this is Richmond Heights. Over,” Garate said repeatedly, trying to hail the space station.

They had just minutes before astronaut Samantha Cristoferretti would be out of range.

A voice cut through the white noise.

Update at 6:46 a.m. ET. Launch Scrubbed:

Early on Tuesday, SpaceX scrubbed a scheduled launch, citing technical problems. The next possible attempt is Friday at 5:09 ET, NASA said.

Our Original Post Continues:

NASA is about to launch a new spaceship into orbit, and Mallory Loe has never heard of it.

"I mean, technically, NASA doesn't have another spaceship, do they?" she asks incredulously during a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

She's hardly the only one who doesn't know about this new spacecraft. In fact, none of a half-dozen tourists NPR interviewed in the museum's lobby was aware of the Orion spaceship.

This week, a 3-D printer fabricated a part for itself. Normally, that wouldn't make headlines — except that it happened in space.

"It's a history-making moment for us because it's the first time ever that we're talking about transitioning from launching every part we might need in space from Earth, to actually being able to email a file, a design to space and make that part on demand," says Niki Werkheiser, the project manager for the International Space Station 3-D Printer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden says that Russia's plan to end cooperation on the International Space Station after 2020 will not have an impact on the success of the orbital platform.

Some of you might remember the music video rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" that Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shot aboard the International Space Station. That was a year ago, and the YouTube video he made, which is now approaching 23 million views, is set to come down Tuesday as the licensing agreement on the iconic song expires.

NASA is suspending "the majority of its ongoing engagements" with its Russian counterpart over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Verge, which first broke the news based on a leaked memo, reports that "the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials."

NASA confirmed the story in a statement late Wednesday.

It's nighttime. You are hovering high off the planet looking down. Things are happening. Strange, beautiful, wonderful things.

The White House has approved NASA's call for four more years for the International Space Station, ensuring that the orbiting science laboratory will keep going for another decade, according to documents obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.

The newspaper writes:

NASA has decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to fix a broken cooling system aboard the International Space Station.

The decision was made Tuesday by station managers. They said the extra-vehicular activity should take place as soon as possible to replace a coolant pump that contains a bad valve.

The Associated Press says:

"The spacewalks are taking priority over the launch of a supply ship from Virginia. The delivery had been scheduled for this week, but is now delayed until January."

Of all the government agencies, NASA is among the hardest hit by the government shutdown. As of Oct. 1, nearly all of its employees have been told to pack up and head home.