Astronauts on the International Space Station get food that’s carefully chosen for its nutritional value and specially prepared and packaged to be easily accessible to them in a weightless world on orbit. Could the same food feed the needs of people stuck on planet Earth? We conducted an experiment to find out how well two regular people could get by eating only astronaut food for a full week—a week that included a holiday weekend feast, just to up the difficulty factor. Could they resist the lure of their favorite foods? Take a look at how they fared…
A tool that has helped guide sailors across oceans for centuries is now being tested aboard the International Space Station as a potential emergency navigation tool for guiding future spacecraft across the cosmos. The Sextant Navigation investigation tests use of a hand-held sextant aboard the space station.
Sextants have a telescope-like optical sight to take precise angle measurements between pairs of stars from land or sea, enabling navigation without computer assistance. NASA’s Gemini missions conducted the first sextant sightings from a spacecraft, and designers built a sextant into Apollo vehicles as a navigation backup in the event the crew lost communications from their spacecraft. Jim Lovell demonstrated on Apollo 8 that sextant navigation could return a space vehicle home. Astronauts conducted additional sextant experiments on Skylab.
Filmmaker Ridley Scott Creates
2018 International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory Mission Patch Mission patch represents all International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory research in 2018
Kennedy Space Center, FL (June 13th, 2018) —The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced the unveiling of its latest mission patch, designed by award-winning filmmaker and producer, Sir Ridley Scott. The mission patch represents all payloads intended for the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory in calendar year 2018. CASIS is the organization tasked by NASA with managing research on the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the space station. Research leveraging the ISS National Lab is intended to utilize microgravity for the benefit of life on Earth.
The space station is an ever-evolving research platform capable of enabling research not possible on Earth. As manager of the ISS National Lab, CASIS is responsible for educating and expanding the research opportunities available through this one-of-a-kind facility. By working with Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups, esteemed academic institutions, other government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, the ISS National Lab is fostering a new era of space-based research. The mission patch collaboration with Ridley Scott (like other mission patches announced in recent years) seeks to engage and excite the general public, while representing hundreds of experiments expected to launch to the ISS National Lab in 2018.
During his career as a filmmaker, Ridley Scott has immersed himself in some of the more iconic science fiction feature films of the past five decades. Prominent movies within the science fiction community that Scott has directed or produced (through his production company, Scott Free Productions) include the Alien franchise, Blade Runner, Legend, and The Martian. His love of space exploration and his previous working relationships with NASA helped to forge this mission patch collaboration with CASIS and the ISS National Lab.
The patch design is focused on a female astronaut in full gear, in the infiniteness of space, looking toward the space station. Scott deemed astronauts to be saints for their brave efforts to explore on behalf of humanity. Within the patch, Scott intended the helmet of the astronaut to be interpreted as a halo, saying
“therefore the helmet itself would become… a subliminal suggestion of a saint.”
“I can feel these scientists, and they are so passionate about what they do. You’re a bunch of actual enthusiasts…which is exactly who I am,” Scott said.
To learn more about this collaboration, watch a video on the making of the mission patch here:
To understand the on-orbit capabilities of the ISS National Lab, including research initiatives launched in 2018, visit www.iss-casis.org