Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.

Latest Posts

IAH Gate E7: 1st Leg on the Journey to Space

Here I sit in the airport in Houston getting ready to start my journey to space. First I will fly to Frankfurt for the rest of the week to finish my last training at the European Astronaut Center. I will have refresher training on the Columbus Laboratory, the Automated Transfer Vehicle and training on some of the European Space Agency ...Keep Reading

Happy New Year From the Home Stretch

Happy New Year, Everyone! The start of the New Year brings me into the home stretch of my 2 ½ year road to the launch pad. January will be my last full month in Houston before leaving for 1 week in Germany, 5 weeks in Russia, 2 weeks in Kazakhstan, and finally 2 days locked in a Soyuz spacecraft prior ...Keep Reading

Building Better Computers With Tears of Wine

I’m presently in Japan for a last training session with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) before my mission to the ISS in March. Today Dan Burbank and I received training on the Marangoni Convection Experiment that will be conducted on the International Space Station. The experiment is named for Italian physicist Carlo Marangoni, who studied surface phenomena in liquids and ...Keep Reading

Until We Meet Again

From the ISS Cupola reflecting on a life challenge I heard long ago – 'Be strong enough to know when you are weak... brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid... never substitute words for actions. Learn to stand up in the storm, but have compassion for those who fall. Always have a heart that is clean, a goal ...Keep Reading

A Breath Of Fresh Air

A look inside of our ride home. This is the 'Descent Module' of our Soyuz spacecraft, 'Olympus'. Our Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin in the center seat, Shannon to his left and me to his right. Here we are getting ready for our departure and return to the Earth on Thursday evening. That shiny silver dome in front of Fyodor is ...Keep Reading

Leave A Light On For Us

Shannon, me, and Fyodor all suited up in our Sokol (Russian word for 'Falcon') pressure suits in the Russian MRM-1 module. We strapped into our Soyuz capsule 'Olympus' to conduct pressurization and leak checks on our suits. All systems 'go'... the countdown to landing has begun. Leave a light on for us... we’ll be home soon…Keep Reading

Childhood Dreams Of Flying A Spaceship

On this sacred night, when the aurora looked like rain, I reflected back on my childhood dreams of flying a spaceship through the infinite expanse of space... to be among the mosaic of billions of stars, and visit other worlds. Now as I look from space at our planet I realize that had I been born and spent my childhood ...Keep Reading

Seeing This Makes The Heart Soar And The Soul Sing

A clear starry night over the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Ancient lands with thousands of years of history stretching from Athens, Greece all the way around the Med to Cairo, Egypt. Storied lands, fabled cities, and alluring islands... Athens - Crete - Rhodes - Izmir - Ankara - Cyprus - Damascus - Beirut - Haifa - Amman - ...Keep Reading

The Smell of Earth's Goodness

In Node 1 (our dining and food pantry module) juggling our fresh fruit and enjoying the smell of the Earth’s goodness. I never realized how wonderful an unpeeled lemon and orange could smell. When we opened the hatch of the Progress cargo ship, we found the fruit and vegetables on top. It is like finding a treasure! These won’t last ...Keep Reading

They say our love won't pay the rent - A prelaunch blog.

Here in quarantine, it’s been a lot like that morning wakeup scene from the movie Groundhog Day. Today we all hit the alarm clock again to the tune of Sonny & Cher ringing in our ears. Not really, but L-1 here we go again. So… we went into quarantine on October 25th with our original launch date set for a ...Keep Reading