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Hangout With an Astronaut: Ask Your Questions

Since the year of mankind’s inaugural trip to space in 1961, 341 people have crossed the celestial borders of outer space. These new-age navigators represent the pinnacle of human achievement. What is it about their daring voyages that elicit wonderment in those watching from Earth? Becoming an astronaut is a difficult, but not impossible dream. Join us for our next Google+ Hangout to discover one astronaut’s path to becoming a crew member on the International Space Station.

December 23, 2013: Meeting Mr. Everest, Singing Songs in Space and More

This week on National Geographic, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they summit Everest seven times, train for an Antarctic speed record, chase water while dodging cats in Africa, sing along with an astronaut, and overcome a traumatic brain injury.

Spacesuit Flaw Prompts Christmas Eve Spacewalk

No place like home for the holidays? Two American astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be floating outside their orbiting home on Christmas Eve.   While a Saturday space walk to repair the orbiting laboratory’s faulty cooling pump was completed ahead of schedule, water leaks still plague one space-walk spacesuit. As a result,…

Top 5 Space Station Repair Spacewalk Dangers

Tensions are high as the astronauts aboard the International Space Station ready themselves to conduct a series of emergency spacewalks that start this weekend, ones intended to correct a critical cooling system failure. Acting much like a car’s radiator, the malfunctioning cooling pump prevents overheating of electronics and science experiments aboard the ISS. With one…

Space Station Cooling Unit Breakdown May Need Spacewalk Fix

Update: NASA has indeed decided to dispatch International Space Station astronauts on a series of spacewalks to repair the faulty cooling pump. A NASA briefing on the space walks will take place on December 18 at 3 p.m. The space walks have also forced the delay of a cargo resupply mission to the space station.…

Photos: Astronauts Capture, Tweet Constellations from Space Station

Ever wonder about what some of the most familiar constellations look like from space?   Above the blurring effect of Earth’s atmosphere, the stellar patterns that were first imagined by ancient Greek and Roman skywatchers come to life. Some 400 kilometers from Earth, many astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are  avid stargazers, pointing…

NASA Shutdown Unleashes Beautiful Astronaut Photos on Twitter

Despite the two-week old  government shutdown and NASA’s official online presence going completely dark, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have still been tweeting away and sharing some pretty spectacular snapshots. During the shutdown, NASA has kept Mission Control lights on at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, making sure that all communication lines…

The Four Biggest Risks for Conducting a Spacewalk

An hour into this morning’s scheduled six-hour-long spacewalk to do maintenance work on the International Space Station, astronaut Luca Parmitano’s helmet began inexplicably filling with water. At first Parmitano, a major in the Italian Air Force, notified ground controllers that he was feeling something unusual on the back of his head. “My head is really…

Serious Space Station Leak Provokes Weekend Spacewalk

The crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is  preparing for a spacewalk Saturday as it deals with what NASA calls, “a serious leak” of ammonia coolant in a power system. While NASA  officials in a news briefing  Friday afternoon said that the leak does not pose any danger to the six-person crew or the…

Captain Kirk Virtually Beams up to Space Station

Looks like hailing frequencies were opened this week between Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek TV and movie franchise fame and the International Space Station orbiting Earth. William Shatner, the actor who played the captain of the starship Enterprise had a lively conversation today with astronaut Chris Hadfield, currently aboard the ISS. Shatner spoke by…

NASA’s New Station-Spotting Service

If you have ever thought it would be cool to watch the International Space Station in the sky, NASA is making it a lot easier to do just that. A new website sends alerts to skywatchers wanting to catch the space outpost flying over their backyard.

Great Time to Spot the Space Station

Skywatchers across most of North America and Europe are getting a chance to see the manned International Space Station (ISS) make a series of very bright flybys in the evening sky over the next couple of weeks. As long as you have some clear skies through the 26th, the orbiting laboratory will appear as a…

My God, It’s Full of Stars…

Here’s a wonderful time-lapse video made of photos taken from orbit as the International Space Station passed over Switzerland, western Europe and eventually Saudi Arabia on the night of December 22, 2011. A portion of the Station can be seen along the right side, reflecting the lights of the major cities passing 240 miles below.…

A Commanding View of a Comet

A time-lapse movie taken from the International Space Station shows a brightening view of Earth’s horizon at dawn on December 21. It features an orbital view of lightning storms, stars, airglow… and the dramatic appearance of “sungrazer” Comet Lovejoy as it rises above the atmosphere! Incredible!

What Does It Take to Be an Astronaut?

That was the most asked question during an event this morning at the National Air and Space Museum featuring the crew of STS-132, the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station. A student asks a question of the STS-132 crew. —Image by Eric Long/NASM Well, the final “scheduled” flight, anyway.…