Contest: What Would you Send to the ISS?

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced a four-week contest titled “What Would You Send to the ISS?”, which is open to the general public for submissions. Unlike Requests for Proposals CASIS has previously released, submissions for this contest can simply be ideas or concepts, not precise proposals for research. The contest runs through September 16, 2013, just in time to get your students’ creative juices flowing.

To learn more about this contest and how to submit an idea, visit

Be sure to check out all of the ISS-related NASA Now classroom videos and featured lessons on the NES Virtual Campus. Just log into the Virtual Campus and search for “ISS” to see the list of 16 classroom-ready resources to inspire you and your students.

UPDATE: Two NASA Explorer Schools to Participate in NASA’s First Google plus Hangout With the International Space Station

NASA will host its first live Google+ Hangout with the International Space Station from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 EST, Friday, Feb. 22. NASA Explorer Schools students in Mr. Nate Raynor’s class at Mescalero Apache High School in Mescalero, N.M, and students in Ms Danielle Miller’s class at University High School in Orlando, Fla., will connect with astronauts living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth and with astronauts on the ground.

Astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions and provide insight about life aboard the station. Crews conduct a variety of science experiments and perform station maintenance during their six-month stay on the outpost. Their life aboard the station in near-weightlessness requires different approaches to everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and exercising.

Participate by using #askAstro to ask real-time questions on Google+, YouTube or Twitter. On the morning of the event, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted.

View the hangout live on NASA’s Google+ page or on the NASA Television YouTube channel. To join the hangout, and for opportunities to participate in upcoming hangouts, visit the NASA’s Google+ page.

Link to the NASA Explorer Schools home page.

Yearlong International Space Station Mission Connects to NASA Now Classroom Video

NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency and their international partners have selected two veteran spacefarers for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station in 2015. This mission will include collecting scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. NASA has selected Scott Kelly and the Russian Federal Space Agency has chosen Mikhail Kornienko.

Kelly and Kornienko will launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in spring 2015 and will land in Kazakhstan in spring 2016. Kelly and Kornienko already have a connection; Kelly was a backup crewmember for the station’s Expedition 23/24 crews, where Kornienko served as a flight engineer.

To read more about this mission, visit

This mission is an extension to NASA Now: Human Research on the ISS. NASA Now is an Emmy Award winning video series produced by NASA Explorer Schools. To stream or download this and other NASA Now programs, log onto the NES Virtual Campus at

Space Station Cameras Capture Views of Approaching Hurricane Sandy

From an altitude of 254 statute miles, external cameras on the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Sandy at 11:16 a.m. Eastern time October 29, 2012 as it barreled toward a landfall along the New Jersey coastline. Significant impacts of storm surge and flooding are expected along the eastern seaboard from the Middle Atlantic states to New England. At the time of the flyover, Sandy was located 260 miles south-southeast of New York City, moving north-northwest at 18 miles an hour with winds measured at 90 miles an hour as a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Astronaut Don Pettit and the ISS Transit of Venus

In 1768, when James Cook sailed out of Plymouth harbor to observe the Transit of Venus in Tahiti, the trip was tantamount to a voyage through space. The remote island had just been “discovered” a year earlier, and by all accounts it was as strange and alien to Europeans as the stars themselves. Cook’s pinpoint navigation to Tahiti and his subsequent observations of Venus crossing the South Pacific sun in 1769 have inspired explorers for centuries.

One of those explorers is about to beat Cook at his own game. High above Earth, astronaut Don Pettit is preparing to photograph the June 5th Transit of Venus from space itself.

ISS Transit of Venus

Credit: Science@NASA

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NASA Now: Human Research on the ISS

NASA Now logoLiz Warren, NASA Johnson Space Center operations lead for the International Space Station Medical Project, discusses why exercise and nutrition are important to maintaining good health on Earth and even more important to astronauts on the International Space Station. She also discusses how living in space causes changes in the human body such as loss of bone density, decreased cardiovascular fitness, and muscle atrophy. Astronauts participate in experiments to measure changes in their bodies so that we can prevent those types of changes in the future.

Link to this NASA Now program (requires log-in to the NES Virtual Campus).

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

NASA Now Minute: Human Research on the ISS

Robonaut 2 Joins ISS Crew

Astronaut Catherine Coleman poses with Robonaut 2Almost 200 people from 15 countries have visited the International Space Station, but the orbiting complex has so far only ever had human crew members – until now. 
Robonaut 2, the latest generation of the Robonaut astronaut helpers, launched to the space station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. It is the first humanoid robot in space, and although its primary job for now is teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work. 

Now that R2 is unpacked it will initially be operated inside the Destiny laboratory for operational testing, but over time both its territory and its applications could expand. There are no plans to return R2 to Earth.

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli unpack the newest member of the Expedition 27 crew, Robonaut 2

 the first humanoid robot in space. R2 was delivered to the International Space Station by space shuttle Discovery on STS-133.

NASA Now: Expedition 26

In this installment of NASA Now, meet associate International Space Station program scientist Tara Ruttley, who talks about the complexity of conducting research on this one-of-a-kind orbiting science lab. In addition to the challenges of research in microgravity, Ruttley discusses many of the benefits gained by these experiments in helping to sustain life in space as well as enhance life on Earth. The program focus is on biology and biotechnology experiments being conducted on Expedition 26.

NASA Now Promotion Video

(Click on the video window below and then press your spacebar to start/stop the video.)

Dining on the International Space Station

Commander Scott Kelly preparing dinner on the International Space StationOne of the most frequently asked questions of astronauts is about how and what they eat while in space. Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly recently made an informative video aboard the space station showing the food and beverage area, how food is prepared, menu options, and how they eat.
Think about dehydrated beef stew, asparagus (it floated away during filming) and lemonade! Yum!

International Space Station EarthKAM Winter 2011 Mission

Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station EarthKAM Winter 2011 Mission from Jan. 18-21, 2011. Find out more about this exciting opportunity that allows students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera aboard the International Space Station.

EarthKam logoInternational Space Station EarthKAM is a NASA-sponsored project that provides stunning, high-quality photographs of Earth taken from the space shuttle and the space station. Since 1996, EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the World Wide Web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and, currently, on the space station.

For more information about the project and to register for the upcoming mission, visit the EarthKAM home page.

If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please e-mail