Earlier today, a Soyuz MS-08 rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying with it two NASA astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut bound for the International Space Station. Here's what they will be up to for the next five months.
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It's been known for some time that the White House has been considering cutting off funding to the International Space Station by 2025 to free up resources for NASA, an agency US President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon but has also proposed should make do with a shoestring budget.
Internal documents now show Trump wants to turn the ISS into a "kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry."
Donald Trump's administration has touted big plans for NASA in the past few months, but it hasn't been willing to put up much cash. So the White House has come up with a way to stretch the space agency's budget further: Forwarding the bills for the International Space Station to, like, anyone else.
Update: January 11, 9:20AM AEDT: According to new reports, Kanai either fabricated this story, “mis-measured” himself, or it was all a joke that didn’t translate well to English. In a tweet posted yesterday, the Japanese astronaut apologised, claiming he had measured his height after the ISS captain questioned the apparent growth, and he had grown 2cm - a far cry from the 9cm previously claimed. “This mis-measurement appears to have become a serious topic, so I must apologise for this terrible fake news,” he tweeted. And he never explained how the original mistake occurred. “I am a little relieved to be able to ride on the return Soyuz,” Kanai added.
Few have the disposable income to casually drop $9000 on a camera like Nikon's D5. NASA, of course, has a couple of spare pennies to toss around on purchases such as this. And when NASA buys cameras, it buys cameras. 53 to be exact. Yes, the US space organisation has just unloaded close to half-a-million bucks on Nikon's DSLRs.
Video: Some time between your marine biologist and professional ninja phases, you probably dreamed of being an astronaut as a kid. But have you seen all the work that goes into actually becoming one? Save yourself years of G-force training and wearing onesies and just shortcut your way onto the International Space Station, which became available for tour through Google Maps' Street View today.
Video: On March 24, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet was joined by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The outing was fairly routine, but this footage captured by Pesquet gives all of us stuck here on Earth an amazing first-person look of what it's like to be an astronaut looking down on our planet.
Astronaut Peggy Whitson is no stranger to breaking barriers: In addition to becoming the first woman commander of the International Space Station (ISS), the Iowa native has logged 377 days in space between two missions -- the most of any American spacewoman to date. Now, on her third mission aboard the ISS, Whitson is racking up even more impressive feats -- today, she performed her eighth spacewalk, setting the record for most spacewalks performed by a woman.
The crew of the International Space Station has taken the ubiquitous Mannequin Challenge as far as it can go -- 418km above Earth's surface.