Floating in space

Some laughs on the ISS, floating above us right now some 230 miles straight up. There's almost always 6 people on board, who serve for several months before being replaced. Here's the current commander:
A Canadian! But then, that's really the main point of the ISS - international collaboration. And cool photos:

Here's an eclipse of the sun as viewed from the ISS:
Here comes the supply ship!
I'm not the biggest fan of the ISS in an analytical sense, since it consumed so much precious money and effort of the various world space agencies, and produces very little science. Besides cool pictures, there's not much going on there, and that will never change. We could have sent fleets of robots all over the solar system for the same money. But! I had my opinion modified slightly by this excellent tour of the station. If you have an hour to spare and are interested in the ISS, check this video out.

Also, if you want to see the ISS zooming overhead - and you should, it's wicked cool - go here and enter your location. There's a ton of cool things to track on that site, and I also highly recommend trying to see an Iridium flare.

If you do watch the video, the ISS seems like a pretty big place. But here it is to scale:
Big, but not really. Most of the size is solar panels too. Imagine living here for 3-6 months with 6 other people. Hope you passed your psych tests!

And ultimately, that's the main science being done on the ISS: Getting practice at staying in space. Let's hope we can use these lessons for worthier endeavors down the road. Until then, we float:
That's Italy's boot to the left, and Greece (SPARTA!) to the upper right.

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