Fragile Oasis

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

Don Pettit, who has lived in space for 370 days during three missions, is known as Mr. Wizard, Mr. Fixit, and as Dad. He's a chemical engineer, an Eagle Scout, and an explorer on earth and in space. He is ...

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From the Diary of a Space Zucchini: My Aching Roots

March 7 I am making a second set of flowers. They are all male flowers, full of fragrance for my crewmates to enjoy. I see Gardener smile. March 8 Oh my aching roots! I am sick; my flower buds have wilted into little brown nubbins. My leaves have a fringe of brown that gets wider every day. The edges are ...Keep Reading

Personal Reality

In space I see things that are not there. Flashes in my eyes, like luminous dancing fairies, give a subtle display of light that is easy to overlook when I’m consumed by normal tasks. But in the dark confines of my sleep station, with the droopy eyelids of pending sleep, I see the flashing fairies. As I drift off, I ...Keep Reading

A Poem for Saturday: I Wonder Why

I wonder why the sky is up, and why the stars abound? Click for the big picture And why the Sun comes up each morn, and why the Earth goes ’round? I wonder what the Sun on Mars, would bring at dusk and dawn? I wonder what two moons would say, from Earth lit sky when Sun is gone I ...Keep Reading

From the Diary of a Space Zucchini: Crewmates for Astro-Z

February 20 We have two new crewmates, Sunflower and Broccoli. Sunflower has a long stem for the size of his leaves. He is standing tall. Broccoli is small and weak. His sprout is so small that without the normal gravitational signals, surface tension forces keep his cotyledons from breaking free from the damp pigmat medium. Effectively, his first two leaves ...Keep Reading