What’s the news in space right now?
The International Space Station
Tomorrow will see the Russian Space Agency (called Roscosmos) sending one of their Soyuz Spacecraft up to the International Space Station (ISS). This will be the 45th Expedition to the Station. For facts and figures about the football pitch-sized ISS and to find out when it’s next whizzing over your head at 5 miles per second go to the NASA website.
Did you know that NASA has amazing plans for the first astronauts to visit the planet Mars as early as 2030. How old will you be then? Of all the planets, Mars is the most similar to Earth. Exploration of the planet they call ‘the red planet’, will help us understand more about our own. Before they go, however, astronauts will need to understand how long periods of zero-gravity and radiation will affect their bodies. This is why they are carrying out experiments right now as well as developing new technologies and better communications. This is vital before the first mission to deep space!
There are lots of things NASA does apart from space stuff. Can you guess what the picture is about? It’s the world’s smallest 3D camera designed by NASA. It will be used in brain surgery!
Also, NASA is currently working on building a 3D printer for use in space. They want to be able to make their own tools! Imagine if something breaks or you need a particular tool for repairs. They will be able to download a plan and then print their own!
Watching the World
Did you know that you are being watched from space every day? The International Space Station and satellites in space are taking pictures all the time. They have the best view of the Earth and use their data to help us to understand how our planet works and how we can improve our lives. At the moment, they are watching our rising seas, raging forest fires, receding glaciers and much more!