Space Station Sunday: From Progress To A Dragon

Good afternoon, space fans!  Here's all of this week's news from low earth orbit.

Mail call!  The Progress cargo ship approaches the ISS.
(Image courtesy Jeff Williams /

This week, a Russian cargo ship called Progress arrived at the station, bearing scientific equipment, fuel, and other supplies for the crew.  It had launched on Thursday from the Baikonur kosmodrome in Kazahkstan and took two days to reach the ISS.

Just a little different than delivery food on Earth.
(Image courtesy

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams has kept busy since his recent arrival at the station, working on a diverse variety of science experiments as well as capturing some amazing imagery and even sending a vido blog out via his social media.  One of the most important experiments that he (and a host of other station residents) have been working on involves the assessment of how difficult it is to complete detailed tasks in space.  Yet, the human body still perseveres!

Several astronauts also took part in a video-chat with The Verge.  Learn about their space life, straight from the source!

NASA astronauts Jeff Williams (left) and Tim Kopra (middle), plus ESA astronaut Tim Peake,
discuss the fascination and dedication of space life.
Fun fact:  those strips on their pants are velcro, and are used to hold various instruments
so they don't float away if set down!
(Image courtesy

Alexey Ovchinin, a cosmonaut new to space life, explored plasma features in the Earth’s ionosphere this week.  His co-cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Oleg Skripochka continued their research on how the crew members interact with ground controllers all around the world.  They also studied the various effects micro-gravity has on the human heart.

Former station residents Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko were lauded by Fortune magazine this week, citing their spectacular teamwork over their One-Year Mission.  The men were referenced amoung the World's 50 Best Leaders for conducting, "a journey in which they circled the planet 5,440 times, traveled 144 million miles (nearly the distance from the earth to Mars), and conducted more than 400 scientific experiments—profoundly ­expanding our understanding of space’s effects on human ­beings and showing that, when it comes to the final frontier, there is no border between nations."

Well done, space bros!
(Image courtesy

Meanwhile, in Florida, the SpaceX team are readying their Dragon supply ship for an April 8th launch to the ISS.  It's pretty busy up there right now, but there will be room for this delivery.  Speaking of room, this payload is particularly important, as it will include a whole new module, created with an innovative design that allows it to inflate and expand to create more space for the station.

The current station configuration.  No vacancies for extra UFOs, sorry.
(Image courtesy

Minus the micro-gravity, you too can explore the station in 3D, thanks to this panoramic photoset of the entire interior.  Remember, in micro-gravity, the ideas of up and down are subjective, and there's stuff to see at almost every angle!

As for photos that extend a little further outside the station, we'll leave you with some choice selections from astronaut Jeff Williams.

Northwestern Australia.

Eruption of the Copahue volcano, Chile.

Australia again, being all inspiring.

That's all for this week!  Check us out next Sunday for all the news on the ISS's new bouncy house inflatable module.  Watch this space!

Even the most important of Progress still has to start small.
Here, the Progress spacecraft approaches the station from afar.
(Image courtesy Jeff Williams.)

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