Russia's workhorse capsule Soyuz is currently the only way to get humans to the ISS and back. Granted Elon Musk and SpaceX plan to change that very soon. Nonetheless, for the time being Soyuz is it. In light of it's proud 45-year history, and with NASA's recent retiring of the Shuttle program, in many ways the Soyuz can be seen as the "last man standing." Space.com have complied an infographic explaining the Soyuz system in detail.
Photographic evidence from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) show signs of stretching and contracting of the lunar surface. These suprising findings demonstrate that the moon is not a as geologically static as once thought. The moon isn't just a solid chunk of rock orbiting around the Earth.
Tom Watters from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Centre for Earth and Planetary Studies notes "The moon is actually expanding or stretching and being pulled apart in some small areas and by a little bit."
Parallel faults are caused by this stretching, forming valleys or "graben" visible to the LRO.
Astronaut Don Pettit demonstrates the new zero-g cup developed on the International Space Station. Using capillary technology, Pettit has developed an open-topped cup that holds liquid in zero gravity. This design allows for astronauts to drink out of the cup without a straw and without gravity to hold the liquid in the container.
This same technology is used in rocket engines to ensure continual fuel flow in zero-g. So I guess Bistro-ISS is officially open for business. There have been no official reports of testing with carbonated alcohol in orbit as of yet. I guess they are still waiting for the pint-sized prototype.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's historic orbit of Earth. In 1962 Glenn, onboard the Friendship 7 craft, became the first American to enter orbit. He circled the planet three times in less than five hours. This achievement, through the Mercury Program, paved the way for America's successful space program; eventually reaching the moon and building the International Space Station.
To celebrate the occasion, Senator John Glenn spoke with astronauts aboard the International Space Station via video link. This event was hosted by NASA's Future Forum at The Ohio State University located at Columbus Ohio.
Stephen Colbert has always had a passion for space exploration. His most recent PSA posted on the NASA website, urges his followers in the Colbert Nation to support NASA's work on the International Space Station to develop alterate vaccines to diseases which have been developing resistance to traditional antibiotics.
Colbert is no stranger to space technology. In 2009 he entered a competion to name a new node of the ISS. Colbert won after encouraging his fans to vote for the node to be named "Colbert." Although he technically won the competition, NASA untimatley decided not to name it after the pundit, and christened the new node "Tranquility" instead. As a conslation prize, NASA named a new piece of excerise equipoment on the ISS as the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill. The acronym stands for Combined Operational Load-bearing External Resistance Treadmill.
Beyond the ISS node naming incident, back in 2008 Colbert ventured to save humanity by having his DNA sent into orbit. A digitized version of Colbert's genetic code was sent to the ISS with space-tourist and video game designer Richard Garriott. Colbert referred to this as an "Immortality Drive." Garriott acknowledged that the preservation of Colbert's DNA would allow aliens to one day clone him and save humanity, "is there a better person for us to turn to for this high-level responsibility?"