Category Archives: Luca blog

Concordia

The International Space Station’s orbit allows us to see most of Earth’s surface, but an unavoidable line inhibits our view beyond the horizon. Among the areas that we will never see from our privileged point of view are the Earth’s … Continue reading

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Scenes from life in space: part 3

Delays The delay of the Cygnus cargo shuttle reminds us that space companies are on the forefront of technological exploration and you cannot afford to take even the smallest detail for granted. Cygnus is also proof that the experience gained … Continue reading

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Departures and arrivals

The noun ‘station’, contrary to the verb, brings to mind images of movement: the coming and going of travellers, vehicles, goods. On the International Space Station in recent weeks we have had a demonstration of the possibilities offered by our … Continue reading

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@Astro_Luca and the space robots

As I prepare to run a new experiment on the Space Station I cannot not help but think, once again, of the movie Star Wars. In one famous scene the young Luke Skywalker is trained to use his powers with … Continue reading

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Fear and other demons

One of the questions I am often asked is: “Are you astronauts ever afraid?” It is a question that always surprises me and I find it difficult to answer the question in just a few words. The temptation to answer … Continue reading

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Scenes from life in space: part 2

Pavel Expedition 36 commander Pavel Vinogradov is a very experienced cosmonaut who always has a friendly smile on his face. Every time he sees me – our paths normally cross 2 or 3 times a day – he tries to … Continue reading

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Scenes from life in space

Saturday Today Karen and Chris have been busy all morning, first with monitoring the approach of HTV-Kounotori 4 – the “White Stork” that brings us Japanese supplies, experiments and materials – then with its capture, performed with grace and skill … Continue reading

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EVA 23: exploring the frontier

My eyes are closed as I listen to Chris counting down the atmospheric pressure inside the airlock – it’s close to zero now. But I’m not tired – quite the reverse! I feel fully charged, as if electricity and not … Continue reading

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Message in a bottle

One of the parameters of the Station’s orbit around the Earth is the beta angle, which determines the direction from which the Sun’s rays will hit us. We don’t usually bother too much about this parameter because it doesn’t affect … Continue reading

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Night Flight (with apologies to De Saint-Exupery)

It’s Monday evening, and after a really busy day on the Station, exhaustion is setting in – even at zero G. After dinner, I’m overcome by lethargy. I see the same thought written on the faces of my fellow travellers, … Continue reading

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