Science off the Sphere

My favourite astronaut is back in space. That’s right, the legendary Don Pettit (@astro_Pettit) is up on the International Space Station on Expedition 30. He previously was one of the engineers on Expedition 6 in 2002/03.

Don Pettit is a pretty incredible guy, he has so much enthusiasm for science, more than Brian Cox! It’s what he does in his spare time on the station though that’s most impressive. As can be seen in videos, he’s constantly pondering experiments and things to test in the zero-g of space. In the short amount of time off the astronauts have he films videos showing and explaining amazing scientific phenomena. Back on Expedition 6 he did ‘Science Friday’s‘, and now on Expedition 30 he’s doing ‘Science off the Sphere‘.

It’s truly is amazing the things we’re missing out on down here. In his first video of this expedition he demonstrates some interesting facts about knittin’ needles and water. And what’s best, he gets you involved too. He leaves a question to be answered at the end and you get to contact him with your answer.

Not many astronauts have done anything similar to Don, which is a shame, because it’s really important. It gets not only interesting facts across but gets younger people interested in science, gets them asking themselves questions and so on. This is something that should be continually encouraged.

I’ll leave you with two of his latest videos. First, the knittin’ needle experiment (watch it just to hear how he says knittin’ needle, it’s amazing!) and then his latest video on how astronauts can drink from cups (something previously not possible, it had to all be done through straws). Enjoy.

Discovery Returns to Earth Tomorrow

Well it’s been a truly great mission. I’ll show some of the mission photos below. Discovery’s never looked so beautiful! A few photos of the magnificent ISS as she leave it too.

I tried to find Discovery’s ISS fly around footage, but can’t find it. If anyone can direct me, I’ll drop the video in. Eitherway here’s a superb video on what Discovery has done this mission. Complete the assembly of the International Space Station!

Meanwhile, the landing. It’s tomorrow. She ignites for the deorbit burn at 1552 GMT tomorrow, hits the top of the atmosphere at 1625 GMT and lands on runway 15 at the KSC at 1657 GMT. Then that’ll be it. She’ll spend the rest of her life in a museum. What a beauty though. The landing tomorrow will be truly beautiful! :)

All photos from NASA Human Spaceflight and ISS Astronaut Paolo Nespoli’s Flickrstream