Here is this week’s selection of videos and news items about space habitats, living in space, and space settlement. Starts with NASA’s latest Space to Ground report for the International Space Station:
** Progress MS-26 docking – SciNews
The Progress MS-26 spacecraft autonomously docked to the aft port of the Zvezda service module, on the International Space Station, on 17 February 2024, at 06:06 UTC (01:06 EST). Progress MS-26 (ISS Progress 87 mission) delivers about three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 70 crew aboard the International Space Station.
Music: “Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky” courtesy of YouTube Audio Library
** Using a VR headset on space station – Astronaut describes experience – VideoFromSpace
Expedition 70 astronaut Andreas Mogensen describes the experience of using a VR headset while exercising on the International Space Station to Space.com’s Elizabeth Howell.
** Expedition 70 Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa Answers Japanese Media Questions Feb. 20, 2024 – NASA Video
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) discussed living and working in space with Japanese reporters during an in-flight interview Feb. 20. Furukawa is in the midst of a long-duration mission on the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions.
** 2023 Annual Highlights of Results from the International Space Station – NASA Johnson
The International Space Station is a microgravity research lab hosting groundbreaking technology demonstrations and scientific investigations. More than 3,700 investigations conducted to date have generated more than 4,000 research articles published in scientific journals. In 2023, the orbiting lab hosted approximately 500 investigations. See more space station research achievements and findings in the Annual Highlights of Results publication at https://www.nasa.gov/stationresults.
** Axiom Space – Progress on assembly of the first habitat module.
Thales Alenia in Italy is building the structures for the habitat modules that Axiom will initially attach to the ISS and later detach to become a free-flying space station owned and operated by Axiom. Here is a recent item about a milestone in assembly of the first module:
The welding of the forward cone to the cylinder bulkhead marks a significant evolution of the primary structure of Ax- H1, @Axiom_Space‘s first module.
Check out the stunning operations set up by our team in #Turin to prepare for this milestone.#spaceforlife #BuildingForBeyond pic.twitter.com/oHOLVGnEk0
— Thales Alenia Space (@Thales_Alenia_S) February 14, 2024
We are developing and testing “game changing softgoods expandable technology” that leverages the ability to “pack and compress” softgoods structures at launch, then deploy to utilize maximum volume for on orbit operations.
These technology advancements provide “low mass to volume ratios” that are unmatched in the industry. Other habitation providers rely on larger and more powerful rockets with increased fairing envelopes to reach our inflated volumes
We can launch packed and deploy to an average 625% volume increase once pressurized in orbit, offering more on orbit capacity at a reduced size and mass.
We look forward to further developing this technology as we build the world’s first commercial space station.
It’s been pointed out that rotating the LIFE 3.0 module, which would fit into the SpaceX Starship at 8 meters before expanding to 19 meters when deployed, around the long axis at a 4-6 times per minute could provide spin gravity at a potentially beneficial fraction (15-35%) of one g.
** VAST – Planning private crew missions to the ISS
Axiom recently completed its third private crew mission to the ISS. These provide the company with revenue as well as technical experience as it prepares to launch its own space habitats in the coming years. VAST, another space habitat company, announced this week that it also aims to sponsor private ISS missions. NASA requires payment for such missions and allows only a limited number per year. So the two companies will need to compete for contracts with the agency.
Vast is excited to announce that we will compete to offer NASA private astronaut missions to the ISS. Diversity of providers will enhance competition and give customers more options. It will also help transfer critical ISS expertise from NASA to more potential commercial LEO… https://t.co/rP9RZbT5rt
— VΛST (@vast) February 21, 2024
** Chinese Astronaut Captures Breathtaking Views of Egypt, Red Sea from Space – CCTV Video News Agency
China Manned Space Agency on Tuesday released a bird’s eye view of Egypt and the Red Sea taken by astronaut Tang Shengjie who is currently on-board China’s space station.
** Other news and articles:
- Space Visions Symposium – Canaveral Council of Technical Societies (CCTS) – Florida Solar Energy Center, Cocoa, FL, May 2-3, 2024, “The theme of this first symposium is: Large Scale Space Occupancy: What will it take? Initially, we are looking between ten and fifty years into the future …“
- ISDC | International Space Development Conference – Annual meeting of the National Space Society (NSS) – Los Angeles, Thursday, May 23rd to Sunday, May 26th, 2024.
- Resupply Ship Docks to Station Completing Space Delivery | Space Station/NASA – Feb.19.2024
- Launch Date No Earlier Than March 1 Set for Crew-8 | Commercial Crew Program/NASA – Feb.15.2024
- Inclusive Human Spaceflight: New Heights for the Disabled | Leonard David – Feb.15.2024
- Engineers Design Habitats for the Moon Inspired by Terminite Mounds | Universe Today – Feb.14.2024
** Highlight: Snow over the Pyrenees across Spain to Barcelona. Feb 20, 2024 11:45 CET – ISS Above
NASA EHDC6 Live views of the Earth from the International Space Station
— Highlight: Dallas TX – Deb 21, 2024 11:46 CST – ISS Above
** Live Video from the International Space Station (Official NASA Stream) – NASA
Watch live video from the International Space Station, including inside views when the crew aboard the space station is on duty. Views of Earth are also streamed from an external camera located outside of the space station. During periods of signal loss due to handover between communications satellites, a blue screen is displayed.
The space station orbits Earth about 250 miles (425 kilometers) above the surface. An international partnership of five space agencies from 15 countries operates the station, and it has been continuously occupied since November 2000. It’s a microgravity laboratory where science, research, and human innovation make way for new technologies and research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. More: https://go.nasa.gov/3CkVtC8
Did you know you can spot the station without a telescope? It looks like a fast-moving star, but you have to know when to look up. Sign up for text messages or email alerts to let you know when (and where) to spot the station and wave to the crew: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov
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