Fragile Oasis

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

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Well, we are essentially packed – we even put away our Harry Potter glasses…(medical glasses to adjust for ANY vision changes with one pair of glasses). Too bad they look dorky. 100 years ago or so, we started flying, Girl Scouts were established and the Oreo cookie was invented50 years ago or so, the first Satellite was launched 25 years ...Keep Reading

With A Story To Tell

It’s been said a million times, “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” It’s a beautiful quote by one of the most important and influential musicians, artists and humanitarians of all time, Mr. John Lennon. It ticks all the iconic quote boxes: it’s short, to the point and unequivocally accurate. I want to write a quote like ...Keep Reading

Packing for Earth

Now it is time to start thinking about coming home. Up to this point I haven’t, and sort of denied it. I am still in denial, but I am going through the motions because I don’t want to forget something when the hatch closes…so we are preparing. Space is just really cool. I love it here, just like most folks ...Keep Reading

Turning Over A New Leaf

Fall is beginning in the northern hemisphere. It is easy to see that from up here – the many agricultural fields that were bright green two months ago are all starting to become brown. You can’t stop time. It’s funny, these things, the natural changes on Earth, the seasons, the real day night, the wind then calm - those are ...Keep Reading

It's What We Do

September 12, 2012: The Undocking and Release of the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 via NASA TV I might have jinxed it. On Tuesday, September 11th, I was explaining my role as a CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at Mission Control Houston for the International Space Station. I said, “It’s like in Apollo 13, when the crew calls down and says, ‘Houston, we ...Keep Reading


On September 11, 1962, President Kennedy visited the George C. Marshall Spaceflight Center where Dr. Wernher von Braun showed him a model of the Saturn C-5 rocket, the “vehicle designed to fulfill your promise to put a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” The next day, in an audacious speech at Rice University, the president marshaled ...Keep Reading

Space is Busy, Active and Unkind

We have been pretty much up to our ears in EVA - extravehicular activity or spacewalking - preparations and then spacewalking! I think most of you know we had a spacewalk using the robotic arm Thursday, August 30th. It went sort of long. Getting tools ready You don’t just “go outside.” Usually that is the fun and easy part of ...Keep Reading

Every Person Knows The Name Neil Armstrong

Saturday was a sad day for this planet. I was thinking about it, and I’ll bet practically every person on (and off) this planet knows the name Neil Armstrong. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you do for a living, what kind of car you drive, or how many kids you have – most everyone ...Keep Reading

Mixed Bag

The past week sort of defines long duration space fliers. We certainly don’t do the same thing every day, and every day was different with different types of activities for all of us. There is an awesome group of people on the ground – the planners – who know what all the constraints are for all the activities we need ...Keep Reading

Why Should We Spend Money on Space Exploration When We Have So Many Problems Here on Earth?

I’m asked all the time, “Why should we spend money on space exploration when we have so many problems here on planet Earth?” Two-Way Technology Transfer During the past 50 years we frequently heard about the many amazing spinoffs from the human spaceflight program - everything from personal computers to solar energy. Now, we are also seeing direct tangible benefits ...Keep Reading