Astronauts can, certainly, tear up — they’re human, after all. But in zero gravity, the tears themselves can’t flow downward in the way they do on Earth. The moisture generated has nowhere to go. Tears, Feustel put it, “don’t fall off of your eye … they kind of stay there.” NASA spacewalk officer Allison Bollinger, who oversaw Feustel’s EVA, confirmed this assessment. “They actually kind of conglomerate around your eyeball,” she said.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
[Images: Chris Hadfield/NASA]
[Images: Kevin Gill]
Extreme Voting: How Astronauts Cast Ballots from Space
“Call it the ultimate absentee ballot. NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station have the option of voting in [today’s] presidential election from orbit, hundreds of miles above their nearest polling location.
Astronauts residing on the orbiting lab receive a digital version of their ballot, which is beamed up by Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Filled-out ballots find their way back down to Earth along the same path.”
Your latest reminder that the future is now.
[Image: Till Credner via NASA]
What you see about is the center of our galaxy, as seen by the powerful Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) instrument in northern Chile—but it’s just a thumbnail of the largest catalog of stars ever made. The original image, navigable and zoomable here, covers 108,500 by 81,500 pixels (just under nine billion pixels or nine gigapixels). If you were to print it out at normal book-level resolution, it would be something like 30 feet wide and 23 feet tall.
Read more. [Image: ESO]
By now you’ve probably seen one of the many gorgeous time-lapse videos created with photographs taken by the crew of the International Space Station. Yeah, yeah, pretty cool. But just when you think you’ve seen all the beauty that space has to offer, along comes this gem: Christoph Malin’s twist on the genre.
[Image: Space Telescope Science Institute]
In 1960, Joseph Kittinger’s daring leap from 102,800 feet above Earth setting records that remained unbroken for decades. Skydiver Felix Baumgartner plans to break it on October 9, 2012, live streaming the event from a Red Bull-sponsored site. With just a fraction of the technology at Baumgartner’s disposal, however, Kittinger’s Project Excelsior dive set records for longest jump and fastest speed of a human through the atmosphere. Now, Kittinger is helping Baumgartner in his pursuit of a new record.