Expedition 50 launched today on a two-day trip to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Peggy Whitson of NASA, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), is scheduled to dock with the Space Station's Rassvet module on Saturday, November 19th.
The crew will be welcomed by astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who arrived at the Station a month ago.
The night of November 14th was reserved for a spectacular sight in our sky - the Supermoon. NASA published amazing images that show how beautiful the Supermoon was.
A Supermoon occurs when the Moon's orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth.
Tonight, the night of November 14th we'll get to witness a spectacular sight in our sky - the Supermoon. The full Moon of November 14th is not only the closest full Moon of 2016 but also the closest full Moon to date in the 21st century. The full Moon won't come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. The last time the full Moon was this close to Earth was in 1948.
NASA explained this phenomenon.
The Moon's orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical, so sometimes it is closer, and sometimes it's farther away. When the Moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it is known as a Supermoon. At perigee - the point at which the Moon is closest to Earth - the Moon can be as much as 14 percent closer to Earth than at apogee when the Moon is farthest from our planet. The full Moon appears that much larger in diameter and because it is larger shines 30 percent more moonlight onto the Earth.
The biggest and brightest Moon for observers in the United States will be on Monday morning just before dawn.
Elon Musk thinks they have finally solved the mystery of their September's Falcon 9 explosion. Speaking with CNBC, he stated that the explosion was caused by a "really surprising problem that's never been encountered before in the history of rocketry."
Just last week, Musk said that the cause of the explosion is one of the toughest puzzles the company has ever had to solve.
The explosion caused complications for NASA since SpaceX was supposed to transfer cargo to International Space Station. However, Orbital ATK stepped in and performed their first successful launch since October 2014 when the rocket failed, and the vehicle and payload were destroyed causing $15 million in damage.
Musk now believes they have found the cause of the accident which he claims is "a combination of liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen."
The United States presidential election of 2016 is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station also have the ability to vote from space thanks to a bill passed by the Texas legislature in 1997.
For astronauts, the voting process starts a year before launch, when astronauts can select which elections (local/state/federal) that they want to participate in while in space. Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the "Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request - Federal Post Card Application."
Voting in space was first used the same year it was implemented, in 1997. NASA's astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote from space, casting a ballot in a 1997 local election. At the time, he was aboard the Russian Mir Space Station.
Fans of astronomy should prepare for November 14th when they'll have the opportunity to enjoy a rare Supermoon.
The full Moon of November 14th is not only the closest full Moon of 2016 but also the closest full Moon to date in the 21st century. The full Moon won't come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. The last time the full Moon was this close to Earth was in 1948.
Since the moon's orbit is elliptical, one side (perigee) is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the other (apogee). The word syzygy, in addition to being useful in word games, is the scientific name for when the Earth, Sun, and Moon line up as the Moon orbits Earth. When perigee-syzygy of the Earth-moon-sun system occurs and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, we get a perigee Moon or more commonly, a Supermoon!
The International Space Station has been continuously inhabited for 5,844 days since Expedition 1's crew of three arrived there on this day in 2000.
Expedition 1 consisted of an astronaut Bill Shepherd and two cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev. They arrived at the Space Station on November 2nd, 2000, 16 years ago. It was the beginning of an uninterrupted human presence on the Station which continues to this day. The trio spent 136 days aboard the Station.
The assembly of the International Space Station, a major endeavor in space architecture, began in November 1998. The modules were all assembled in space, and it took 13 years to finish the Station. Five different space agencies participated in its construction. The European Space Agency later said that the costs of development, assembly and maintenance of the Station in ten years had been around $110 billion, but the actual cost is probably much higher.
Leonardo DiCaprio's National Geographic documentary Before The Flood premiered two days ago and in case you missed it, you can watch it for free on YouTube.
The entire documentary talks about the fossil fuel industry and the effect it has on our planet, explains the devastating consequences, and tries to find a solution for inevitable climate change, who's effects we are already witnessing.
Elon Musk appears in the documentary (he also appeared in Racing Extinction, which you should watch if you haven't already) and leads DiCaprio trough Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada.
Musk explains that the Gigafactory isn't built just to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, but he hopes is will serve as a template for how others could contribute to converting the world to clean energy.
NASA has published amazing images of Expedition 49 crew members landing in Kazahstan on Sunday. NASA astronaut and Expedition 49 crew member Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency returned to Earth after a successful mission aboard the International Space Station.
After 115 days in space, they are back! NASA astronaut and Expedition 49 crew member Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency returned to Earth after a successful mission aboard the International Space Station.
The Expedition 49 crewmates touched down in their Soyuz MS-01 at 11:58 PM EDT (9:58 AM October 30, Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.
Rubins and Onishi have each spent a total of 115 days in space during their first mission. Ivanishin now has 280 days in space from two flights.