Space Station Sunday: Dock Stars

Good afternoon, space fans!  It's been another week of outstanding operations in orbit!  Here's what was up...

Astronaut Rubins makes space for more spacecrafts
by installing the new International Docking Adapter.
(Image courtesy

On Friday, Commander Jeff Williams and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins went for an E.V.A. (extravehicular activity, a.k.a spacewalk) to install an International Docking Adapter.  The adapter is a port that makes it possible to accommodate the docking of a number of different types of modern spacecraft.  The SpaceX crew Dragon, the Boeing Starliner, and other types of manned spacecraft will be able to utilize the docking adapter to gain entrance into the station.

Plenty of parking, if you can handle the drive...
(Image courtesy

The spacewalk took 5 hours and 58 minutes to complete (faster than the scheduled 6.5 hours projected for the installment.)  The relative speed was abetted by the fact that the adapter had been maneuvered from the "trunk" of the Dragon spacecraft into its installation position via the Canadarm-2 robotic arm.  Another similar docking adapter will be added to the station at a later date.  Wonder what spacewalking feels like?  NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock answered some questions on the topic on these spectacular strolls.

"At the edge of the world installing the Int'l Docking Adapter.
Congrats to the teams who made this possible." -Astronaut Kate Rubins
(Image courtesy

Other science this week included making observations on a physics study of particles suspended in water.  This could be beneficial for possible materials sciences endeavors back on Earth,as the particles might find unique ways to align themselves thanks to the microgravity environment on the ISS.  JAXA astronaut Takuya Onishi studied how microgravity would affect the genetics of mice.

The cosmonauts kept busy as well, with Anatoly Ivanishin and Alexey Ovchinin working on a variety of experiments.  They worked on a system that detects micro-meteorite impacts on the station, as well as how bacteria interact with viruses in space.

Love everything about space?  NASA has made its complete archives free to the public for perusal!  Everything (except that which deals with possible issues of national security) is included, so you can expand your mind as far as the stars!

And as always, Commander Jeff Williams snagged some sweet space snaps!  Here's how we'd look from a realllllly long selfie stick...

"A place of inspiration, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
#FindYourPark #NPS100."

"The last month has gone by quickly…full Moon again!"

"Mount St. Helens looks spectacular from directly above!
#FindYourPark #NPS100."

That's all for this week, space fans!  We'll see you next Sunday with even more excellence from orbit!  Watch this space!

Great job, astronaut Rubins and Commander Williams!
(Image courtesy


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