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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Earth Photography: Harder Than It Looks

From my orbital perspective, I am sitting still and Earth is moving. I sit above the grandest of all globes spinning below my feet, and watch the world speed by at an amazing eight kilometers per second (288 miles per minute, or 17,300 miles per hour). This makes Earth photography complicated. Even with a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a ...Keep Reading

One (Really Good) Reason Not To Clean Your Closet

On the International Space Station, we have a closet module called the Permanent Multipurpose Module. Its prosaic name is PMM, an acronym that has metamorphosed beyond the original assemblage of words to become a noun on its own, pronounced pee-em-em (only at NASA can we create new words without vowels). In a former life, it was an MPLM (another vowel-less ...Keep Reading

A Lab for Science, and for Thinking

The International Space Station was conceived and constructed through the cooperation of fifteen nations. Now, with it's construction complete, we can focus on how best to use it. We have built a laboratory located on the premier frontier of our era. Our Earth-honed intuition no longer applies in this orbital environment. On frontiers, things do not behave the way we ...Keep Reading

The World Through a Looking Glass

Looking through the cupola windows on the International Space Station, it’s only natural to reflect upon who we are and where we fit into the world below. Like something out of Alice in Wonderland, this orbital looking glass can be both a window through which to observe the jeweled sphere of Earth and a mirror that (sometimes, depending on your ...Keep Reading