NASA’s strong preference is to keep astronauts aboard the station. But Todd said NASA does have procedures for operating the station without crew on board. “That’s something that we’re always prepared for,” he said. “I feel very confident that we could fly for a significant period of time.”
That’s as it should be, advocates of open research say. They argue, among other things, that a substantial portion of the research that publishers attempt to lock behind paywalls was funded with grants paid for by taxpayers, and that the public should therefore have unfettered access to it.
Engineers at Russia’s chief manned spacecraft contractor are developing a habitable orbital laboratory, which could serve as the cornerstone of a future deep-space outpost. The new 20-ton module is scheduled to dock at the Russian segment of the International Space Station, ISS, in 2017 or 2018.
This matches. The missile has three stages (like the old Saturn V rockets that took humans to the Moon), and what the astronauts saw may have been a fuel dump from the second stage or the last of the fuel leaking away after the booster phase was complete. In space, the cloud would expand more or less freely, moving rapidly as it traveled along with the booster in its path. In the photo, you can see a slight streaking to the cloud, most likely due to motion.
Original tweet from astronaut Mike Hopkins here.
They claim the Popigai site is unique in the world, thus making Russia the monopoly proprietor of a resource that’s likely to become increasingly important in high-precision scientific and industrial processes
Russian scientists say the news is likely to change the shape of global diamond markets, although the main customers for the super-hard gems will probably be big corporations and scientific institutes.
There’s been a long history of NASA-provided “Blue Marble” images of Earth, but now we’re getting a different perspective thanks to photos taken by the Elektro-L No.1 Russian weather satellite. Unlike NASA’s pictures, this satellite produces 121-megapixel images that capture the Earth in one shot instead of a collection of pictures from multiple flybys stitched together. The result is the highest-resolution single picture of Earth yet. The image certainly looks different than what we’re used to seeing, and that’s because the sensor aboard the weather satellite combines data from three visible and one infrared wavelengths of light, a method that turns vegetation into the rust color that dominates the shot.