Go for the View, Stay for the Science


The International Space Station passes around the world once about every 90 minutes giving astronauts and cosmonauts spectacular views like this one that shows a pass over America with the familiar Florida peninsula in the frame. Florida will be the launch site for the next generation of American-built spacecraft carrying astronauts to the station. They won’t be going just for the chance to look on the world below, though. Like the current crew, station residents spend their day on station work and research. The new spacecraft from Boeing and SpaceX will increase the research performed on the station by adding a seventh crewmember. With seven people aboard, the research work will double from the current 40 hours a week to 80.

2 thoughts on “Go for the View, Stay for the Science”

  1. I can’t help but wonder what Sarah Brightman’s contribution will be. I love it when the arts are represented in space exploration, I believe it is essential for the soul of the poet to witness the frontier. Terry Virts lamented a few weeks ago that he and Butch were just fighter pilots, not poets. I appreciate Terry’s humility, but it isn’t as if those 6 amazing people up there lack the soul to describe what they are privileged to experience from the perspective offered by ISS. He and many other flight technicians and commanders have waxed eloquently, if not effusively, about the spectacular perspective to be gained from traveling a few million miles at an altitude of 250 miles. In the end, regardless of their nationalities, most of those who have ventured to the ISS know that their primary role is to do the work, to accomplish the scientific research – and they do it well.
    Sarah Brightman’s current training activities will be essential if she is to fill the shoes – even if for just a few days – of the cosmonauts and astronauts who have paved the path for her and others like her to be able “taxi” up and behold that rare spectacle. I wish her well.
    And I will terribly miss the admirable, reliable orbital presence of Butch Wilmore on the ISS. God bless the returning members of Expedition 42, you’ve given us a beautiful 6 months.

  2. I realize we can’t all be brilliant, and I have to admit I certainly am not.
    I wish you’d name something in videos and photographs so that I could figure out what everything else is. (Heavy sigh)
    Even N
    W E
    would be helpful, because most of the time I have no idea what I’m seeing.

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