Thursday, April 9, 2009

Photo Worth 178 Days

Astronaut Edward Michael Fincke has been popular recently for his televised ISS tour, the first public conversation with a president & accompanying school children from the space station, and... well, for us geeks, he was in the last episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise" -- so he'll never hear the end of that.

With his most recent long-duration stint on the space station, he has also now achieved 365 days in space, or a year of his life in micro-gravity. Expedition 18 alone was 178 days, just shy of six months. And here is what half-a-year in space looks like:

NASA Astronaut

That's good ol' Mike being carried to a medical tent upon landing in Kazakhstan yesterday. All three crew members of the Soyuz TMA-13 were reportedly in good condition... "good" here meaning alive, but unable to walk ;) I know I and everyone else I've come into contact with at the NASA medical projects wants to see this become a thing of the past!

Colonel Fincke narrated a wonderful portion of NASA's ISS flash pages, and it's one of the best resources I've ever found for understanding the International Space Station in brief, clear bytes, covering:

How The Crew Lives:
How the Crew Eats
How the Crew Sleeps
How the Crew Exercises

How The ISS Works:
How It's Operated
How It's Built
How It's Supported

There's also a nifty "360-degree" tour with great views of the amazing station, which has completed over 60,000 orbits! If you're one of those folks who likes to read instead of having someone talk at you, along the left is a button where surfers can download PDF files of NASA brochures... I got lost in there for about an hour...