Space Station Sunday: Orbital Business As Usual

Good afternoon, space fans!  Here's what was up on the ISS this week.


"Got to see the Super Bowl in person after all!
But at 17,500MPH, it didn't last long. #YearInSpace"
-Astronaut Scott Kelly

On Thursday, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly celebrated 500 total days in space, accrued over the course of four missions.  Kelly has currently spent 324 days on the International Space Station, and has only 19 days left on the orbital laboratory before he returns home to earth.

He's not bored with space, but some gravity and maybe steak would probably be nice for a change.
(Image courtesy NASA.gov.)

Kelly and ESA astronaut Tim Peake worked on repairing a U.S. spacesuit this week.  The two also conducted biological experiments that assessed biomarkers for space-based immune dysfunction, and also analyzed potentially harmful microbes.

The crew also did experiments on textile flammability as well as the thermophysical properties of other materials in space.  Russia's cosmonauts worked on experiments regarding digestion, crew training, and Earthling-operated photography.

The station will lose some weight on Friday, when the Cygnus cargo craft will be released into a flaming demise over the Pacific Ocean.  The craft, which station astronauts have been filling with trash for several days now, will be grappled away from the ISS via the Canadarm-2 robotic arm, then hurled back into gravity's cruel embrace.

The most expensive trashcan in the universe.
(Image courtesy Tim Peake.)

And despite his time in space winding down, Scott Kelly managed to snap a few more amazing slices of Earth art during his high-speed world tour.

Iran!


Africa!


That's all for this week, space fans!  We'll see you next Sunday with all the best from orbit.  Watch this space!

Happy Valentine's Day from the ISS!
(Image courtesy Scott Kelly.)

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