May 26, 2022
Understanding the effects of microgravity on the human body is essential in enabling astronauts to travel through the harsh environment of space for months, or even years. Significant changes to the body’s skeletal and muscle systems have been studied for decades, and strategies to maintain... Read More
Oct 10, 2017
In 2015, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen was onboard the International Space Station (ISS), photographing the tops of thunderstorms from Earth orbit. And he saw something very interesting indeed. Blue jets.
Aug 11, 2017
A new experiment set for an Aug. 14 launch to the International Space Station will provide an unprecedented look at a rain of particles from deep space, called cosmic rays, that constantly showers our planet.
Aug 11, 2017
Hold out your hand for 10 seconds. A dozen electrons and muons just zipped unfelt through your palm. The ghostly particles are what scientists call "secondary cosmic rays" -- subatomic debris from collisions between molecules high in Earth's atmosphere and high-energy cosmic rays from outer space... Read More
Jun 19, 2017
Roman Statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Humans attempting someday to make Mars their home may well share the sentiments expressed by the orator from ancient Rome. As for the library – books can now be stored digitally. But how... Read More
May 31, 2017
Getting sick when you’re far from home is a drag. You’d give anything to crawl into your own soft bed and sleep, but you’re stuck in a cookie-cutter hotel room feeling like a sick fish out of water. Well, it could be worse. You could be an astronaut on the way to Mars -- a really long way from mom... Read More
Mar 7, 2017
About 30 years ago, researchers announced that ozone concentrations high in the atmosphere over the South Pole had hit an all-time low. This critical layer of the atmosphere that shields us from the Sun’s harmful UV rays had a ‘hole’ in it. And that hole was rapidly expanding. This discovery led to... Read More
Dec 13, 2016
Crewmembers on the International Space Station (ISS) can experience sunrises and sunsets in rapid succession -- about 16 “sunsets” per day because the space station circles Earth once every 90 minutes.
Aug 29, 2016
Ever since the first strands of DNA were sequenced in the 1970s, researchers understood the profound significance of analyzing genetics for a wide range of medical and biological research.
Jul 28, 2016
Summer can bring with it a whirlwind of activity. Hurricane season causes potential havoc on land with threats of forceful winds and torrential rainfall. A helpful set of eyes mounted on the International Space Station (ISS) allows scientists to observe these massive storms from a special angle --... Read More
May 27, 2016
It has been known for some time that time in space affects astronauts’ vision. Post-flight vision changes have been reported by many astronauts after they spend time on the International Space Station. Many, but not all. But why are only certain people affected by spaceflight in this manner... Read More
Feb 23, 2016
If your favorite astronaut returns from space wearing horn-rim glasses and funny stockings, don’t be too disappointed. It’s all part of the job. And there’s a logical explanation. Among the challenges astronauts face during their stints on the International Space Station, farsightedness is fairly... Read More
Jan 20, 2016
On August 10th, astronauts on the International Space Station sampled their first space-grown salad and pronounced it “good.” They were treated to freshly harvested red romaine lettuce grown in the “Veggie” plant growth chamber—a special structure designed to make gardens flourish in... Read More
Dec 28, 2015
Muscles are miracles of nature. They convert energy into motion more efficiently than any gasoline engine or electric motor. They’re extremely resilient and even heal themselves. Instead of degrading with use, our muscles become stronger the more we work them.
Nov 17, 2015
Traveling in space has many odd effects on the human body. One of the strangest has to do with vision. After spending some time on the International Space Station, many astronauts discover that they cannot see as well as they do on Earth. The effect is so well known that members of... Read More