Category: microgravity

On Dec 5. 2019, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying a Dragon cargo capsule filled with dozens of scientific experiments. Those experiments look at everything from malting barley in microgravity to the spread of fire.

Not only are the experiments helping us better understand life in space, they also are giving us a better picture of our planet and benefiting humanity back on Earth. 

📸 A Better Picture of Earth 🌏

Every material on the Earth’s surface – soil, rocks, vegetation, snow, ice and human-made objects – reflects a unique spectrum of light. The Hyperspectral Imager Suite (HISUI) takes advantage of this to identify specific materials in an image. It could be useful for tasks such as resource exploration and applications in agriculture, forestry and other environmental areas.

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🌱 Malting Barley in Microgravity 🌱

Many studies of plants in space focus on how they grow in microgravity. The Malting ABI Voyager Barley Seeds in Microgravity experiment is looking at a different aspect of plants in space: the malting process. Malting converts starches from grain into various sugars that can be used for brewing, distilling and food production. The study compares malt produced in space and on the ground for genetic and structural changes, and aims to identify ways to adapt it for nutritional use on spaceflights.

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🛰️ A First for Mexico 🛰️

AztechSat-1, the first satellite built by students in Mexico for launch from the space station, is smaller than a shoebox but represents a big step for its builders. Students from a multidisciplinary team at Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla in Puebla, Mexico, built the CubeSat. This investigation demonstrates communication within a satellite network in low-Earth orbit. Such communication could reduce the need for ground stations, lowering the cost and increasing the number of data downloads possible for satellite applications.

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🚀 Checking for Leaks 🚀

Nobody wants a spacecraft to spring a leak – but if it happens, the best thing you can do is locate and fix it, fast. That’s why we launched the first Robotic External Leak Locator (RELLin 2015. Operators can use RELL to quickly detect leaks outside of station and help engineers formulate a plan to resolve an issue. On this latest commercial resupply mission, we launched the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), a docking station that allows the RELL units to be stored on the outside of space station, making it quicker and simpler to deploy the instruments.

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🔥 The Spread of Fire 🔥

Understanding how fire spreads in space is crucial for the safety of future astronauts and for controlling fire here on Earth. The Confined Combustion investigation examines the behavior of flame as it spreads in differently-shaped spaces in microgravity. Studying flames in microgravity gives researchers a chance to look at the underlying physics and basic principles of combustion by removing gravity from the equation.

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💪 Staying Strong 💪

Here on Earth you might be told to drink milk to grow up with strong bones, but in space, you need a bit more than that. Astronauts in space have to exercise for hours a day to prevent substantial bone and muscle loss. A new experiment, Rodent Research-19, is seeing if there is another way to prevent the loss by targeting signaling pathways in your body at the molecular level. The results could also support treatments for a wide range of conditions that cause muscle and bone loss back here on Earth.

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Want to learn about more investigations heading to the space station (or even ones currently under way)? Make sure to follow @ISS_Research on Twitter and Space Station Research and Technology News on Facebook. 

If you want to see the International Space Station with your own eyes, check out Spot the Station to see it pass over your town.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Part of the appeal of Thanksgiving is how easily we settle into the familiar: cherished foods, friends and family, and favorite activities like football, puzzles or board games. As anyone who has spent Thanksgiving with someone else’s traditions knows, those familiar things can take on seemingly unusual forms. That’s especially true when you’re 200 miles up in space.

Holidays in space weren’t very common early in the program, but as astronauts start the 20th year of continuous habitation they will also be celebrating the 20th consecutive Thanksgiving in orbit. As it turns out, everything’s the same, but different.

Food

Early in the space program, astronauts didn’t have much choice about their meals. A turkey dinner with all the trimmings was as much a pipe dream in the early 1960s as space travel had been a few decades earlier. Food had to be able to stay fresh, or at least edible, from the time it was packed until the end of the mission, which might be several weeks. It couldn’t be bulky or heavy, but it had to contain all the nutrition an astronaut would need. It had to be easily contained, so crumbs or droplets wouldn’t escape the container and get into the spacecraft instrumentation. For the first flights, that meant a lot of food in tubes or in small bite-sized pieces.

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Examples of food from the Mercury program

Chores first, then dinner

Maybe you rake leaves to start the day or straighten up the house for guests. Perhaps you’re the cook. Just like you, astronauts sometimes have to earn their Thanksgiving dinner. In 1974, two members of the Skylab 4 crew started their day with a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk, replacing film canisters mounted outside the spacecraft and deploying an experiment package.

After the spacewalk, the crew could at least “sit down” for a meal together that included food they didn’t have to eat directly from a bag, tube or pouch. In the spacecraft’s “ward room”, a station held three trays of food selected for the astronauts. The trays themselves kept the food warm.

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A food tray similar to the ones astronauts used aboard Skylab, showing food, utensils and clean wipes. The tray itself warmed the food.

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The ward room aboard Skylab showing the warming trays in use. The Skylab 4 crew ate Thanksgiving dinner there in 1974.

Fresh food

It can’t be all mashed potatoes and pie. There have to be some greens. NASA has that covered with VEGGIE, the ongoing experiment to raise food crops aboard the space station. Though the current crop won’t necessarily be on the Thanksgiving menu, astronauts have already harvested and eaten “space lettuce”. Researchers hope to be growing peppers aboard the space station in 2020.

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Astronaut Kjell Lindgren enjoys lettuce grown and harvested aboard the International Space Station.


Football

Space station crews have been able to watch football on Thanksgiving thanks to live feeds from Mission Control. Unfortunately their choices of activities can be limited by their location. That long walk around the neighborhood to shake off the turkey coma? Not happening.

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Football in space. It’s a thing.

Be Prepared for the Unplanned

No matter how you plan, there’s a chance something’s going to go wrong, perhaps badly. It happened aboard the Space Shuttle on Thanksgiving 1989. Flight Director Wayne Hale tells of plumbing problem that left Commander Fred Gregory indisposed and vacuum-suctioned to a particular seat aboard the spacecraft.

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 This is not the seat from which the mission commander flies the Space Shuttle.

Hungry for More?

If you can’t get enough of space food, tune into this episode of “Houston, We Have a Podcast” and explore the delicious science of astronaut mealtime.

And whether you’re eating like a king or one of our astronauts currently living and working in space, we wish everybody a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

One month ago,
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station. Now it’s time for the Dragon to come
home. The return trip, a crucial part of its mission, brings scientific
hardware, data and experiments
down to waiting researchers.

Check out a few
of the pieces of research taking that ride back to Earth.

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A cinematic look at life and science
aboard the space station

You may one day get to
experience the product of The ISS Experience. A team is creating
a cinematic virtual reality (VR) film from footage taken during in space
covering crew life, execution of science and the international partnerships
involved on the space station.

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Every week or
so, footage is transferred from the camera onto solid state drives – an
original and a backup – for storage and downlinking. One of each pair of drives
returns to Earth for editing and production.

Seeking Alzheimer’s understanding in
microgravity

Amyloid
fibrils, a conglomeration of proteins that can build up in the body, are
associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and
Parkinson’s diseases. The Amyloid
Aggregation

investigation assesses whether microgravity affects formation of these fibrils.

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Samples exposed
to microgravity are coming back to Earth using a facility that maintains a chilly
temperature of -20°C. Teams on the ground must quickly retrieve the equipment
and keep the samples at -20°C until they are analyzed.

The SPHERES return home

Synchronized
Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are
bowling-ball sized satellites used to study formation flying, control
algorithms and material science.

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First sent to
the station in 2006, these satellites have been employed in a dozen different
investigations.

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The Dragon
brings back hardware from two recent experiments that examined the behavior of
fluids in microgravity, SPHERES Tether Slosh and SPHERES-Slosh.

From microgravity lab to manufacturing
facility

The Fiber
Optic Production

investigation created optical fibers on the space station using a blend of
materials called ZBLAN to see whether making the fibers in microgravity has
advantages over the process used on Earth. ZBLAN optical fibers offer high
bandwidth for the telecommunications industry, and potential applications for
uses like laser surgery and environmental monitoring.

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The fiber produced
on the space station is coming to Earth for testing to help verify previous
studies and guide future efforts to manufacture large volumes of such fiber in
microgravity.

Read more about the science returning on Dragon here!

For daily updates, follow @ISS_ResearchSpace Station Research
and Technology News
 or our Facebook. Follow the ISS
National Lab
for information on its sponsored investigations. For
opportunities to see the space station pass over your town, check out 
Spot the Station.


Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Dozens of science experiments will soon make their red carpet debuts on the International Space Station. They will arrive courtesy of a Dragon cargo spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The starring players include investigations into 3D printing organ tissue, breaking up rocks and building bones.

Meet some of the experiments blasting off that could lead to the development of new technologies as well as improve life on Earth.

Grab yourself an (organ) tissue

Scientists and medical professionals have long dreamed of the day 3D printers can be used to create useable human organs. But pesky gravity seems to always get in the way.

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Enter microgravity. The new BioFabrication Facility (BFF) will provide a platform to attempt the creation of this organ tissue on the space station, a potential first step towards creating entire human organs in space.

Put down your pickaxe and pick up some microbes

Extracting minerals from rocks doesn’t always require brute force. Microbes can be deployed for the same purpose in a process called bio-mining. While common on Earth, the method still needs to be explored in space to see if it can eventually help explorers on the Moon and Mars. The BioRock investigation will examine the interactions between microbes and rocks and see if microgravity could limit the use of bio-mining by restricting bacterial growth.

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Keep rolling along 

Goodyear Tire will investigate if microgravity can help improve the silica design process, silica rubber formation and tire manufacturing. This investigation could lead to improvements like better tire performance and increased fuel efficiency, putting a bit of cash back in your pocket.

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When space gets on our nerves

Meet microglia: a type of immune defense cell found in the central nervous system. Better understanding nerve cells and their behavior in microgravity is crucial to protecting astronaut health. 

The Space Tango-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells experiment will convert induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from patients with Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis into different types of brain cells. Researchers will examine two things:

  1. How microglial cells grow and move
  2. Changes in gene expression in microgravity
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Studying this process in microgravity could reveal mechanisms not previously understood and could lead to improved prevention and treatments for the diseases.

Space moss!

Moss, the tiny plants you see covering rocks and trees in the woods, change how they behave once the gravity in their environment changes. Space Moss compares the mosses grown aboard the space station with your typical run-of-the-mill Earth-bound moss.

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This investigation will let researchers see how moss behavior in space could allow it to serve as a source of food and oxygen on future Moon or Mars bases.

A smooth connection 

Docking with the space station requires physical points for connections, and International Docking Adapters (IDAs) are providing a more sophisticated way of doing so.

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IDA 3 will be attached to the Harmony mode, home to two existing IDAs. This adapter can accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings, such as the first spacecraft to launch from U.S. soil since the space shuttle.

Building a better bone 

The Cell Science-02 investigation will improve our understanding of tissue regeneration and allow us to develop better countermeasures to fight loss of bone density by astronauts.

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By examining the effects of microgravity on healing agents, this investigation may be able to assist people on Earth being treated for serious wounds or osteoporosis.

Want to learn about more investigations heading to the space station (or even ones currently under way)? Make sure to follow @ISS_Research on Twitter and Space Station Research and Technology News on Facebook

If you want to see the International Space Station with your own eyes, check out Spot the Station to see it pass over your town.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

New
science is headed to the International Space Station aboard
the SpaceX Dragon.

Investigations
on this flight include a test of robotic technology for refueling spacecraft, a
project to map the world’s forests and two student studies inspired by Marvel’s
“Guardians of the Galaxy” series.

Learn
more about the science heading into low-Earth orbit:

The
forest is strong with this one: GEDI studies Earth’s forests in 3D

The Global Ecosystem
Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is an instrument to measure and map Earth’s
tropical and temperate forests in 3D.

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The Jedi knights may help
protect a galaxy far, far away, but our GEDI
will help us study and understand forest changes right here on Earth.

Robotic
refueling in space

What’s cooler than cool? Cryogenic propellants,
or ice-cold spacecraft fuel! Our Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) will demonstrate technologies for storing and
transferring these special liquids. By establishing ways to replenish this fuel
supply in space, RRM3 could help spacecraft live
longer and journey farther
.

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The mission’s techniques could even be applied
to potential lunar gas stations at the Moon, or refueling
rockets departing from Mars.

Staying
strong in space

The
Molecular Muscle investigation examines the
molecular causes of muscle abnormalities from spaceflight in C. elgans, a
roundworm and model organism.

This
study could give researchers a better understanding of why muscles deteriorate
in microgravity so they can improve methods to help crew members maintain their
strength in space.

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Investigation
studies space-grown crystals for protection against radiation

Perfect Crystals is a study to learn more about an
antioxidant protein called manganese superoxide dismutase that protects the
body from the effects of radiation and some harmful chemicals.

The
station’s microgravity environment allows researchers to grow more perfectly
ordered crystals of the proteins. These crystals are brought back to Earth and
studied in detail to learn more about how the manganese superoxide dismutase
works. Understanding how this protein functions may aid researchers in
developing techniques to reduce the threat of radiation exposure to astronauts
as well as prevent and treat some kinds of cancers on Earth.

Satellite
deployment reaching new heights with SlingShot

SlingShot
is a new, cost-effective commercial satellite deployment system that will be
tested for the first time.

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SlingShot
hardware, two small CubeSats, and a hosted payload will be carried to the
station inside SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and installed on a Cygnus spacecraft
already docked to the orbiting laboratory. Later, Cygnus will depart station
and fly to a pre-determined altitude to release the satellites and interact
with the hosted payload.

Investigation
studies accelerated aging in microgravity

Spaceflight
appears to accelerate aging in both humans and mice. Rodent Research-8 (RR-8) is a study to understand the physiology of
aging and the role it plays on the progression of disease in humans. This
investigation could provide a better understanding of how aging changes the
body, which may lead to new therapies for related conditions experienced by
astronauts in space and people on Earth.

Guardians
of the space station: Student contest flies to orbiting lab

The
MARVEL ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Space Station Challenge is a joint project between
the U.S. National Laboratory and Marvel Entertainment featuring two winning
experiments from a contest for American teenage students. For the contest,
students were asked to submit microgravity experiment concepts that related to
the Rocket and Groot characters from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” comic
book series.

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Team
Rocket: Staying Healthy in Space

If
an astronaut suffers a broken tooth or lost filling in space, they need a
reliable and easy way to fix it. This experiment investigates how well a dental
glue activated by ultraviolet light would work in microgravity. Researchers
will evaluate the use of the glue by treating simulated broken teeth and
testing them aboard the station.

Team
Groot: Aeroponic Farming in Microgravity

This
experiment explores an alternative method for watering plants in the absence of
gravity using a misting device to deliver water to the plant roots and an air
pump to blow excess water away. Results from this experiment may enable humans
to grow fruits and vegetables in microgravity, and eliminate a major obstacle
for long-term spaceflight.

These
investigation join hundreds of others currently happening aboard the station.
For more info, follow @ISS_Research!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com 

Tissue chips, thumb-drive sized
devices that contain human cells in a 3D matrix, represent a giant leap in
science.

They can test cells’ response
to:

•stresses

•drugs

•genetic
changes

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The Tissue
Chips in Space
initiative seeks to better understand the role of
microgravity on human health and disease and to translate that understanding to
improved human health on Earth.

This series of
investigations to test tissue chips in microgravity aboard the International
Space Station
is planned through a collaboration between the
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes for
Health (NIH)
and the National Laboratory
in partnership with NASA.

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Many of the
changes in the human body caused by microgravity resemble the onset and
progression of diseases associated with aging on Earth, but in space, changes
occur much faster. Scientists may be able to use tissue chips in space to model
changes that take months or years to happen on Earth.

A tissue chip needs three
properties, according to Lucie Low, scientific program manager at NCATS. “It
has to be 3D,” she explained. “It must have multiple different types of cells,
and it must have microfluidic channels. Essentially, you get a functional unit
of what human tissues are like, outside of the body,” said Low.

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As accurate models of
the structure and function of human organs, tissue chips provide a model for
predicting whether a drug, vaccine or biologic agent is safe in humans more
quickly and effectively than current methods.

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This first
phase of Tissue Chips in Space includes five investigations.
An investigation of immune system aging is planned for launch on the SpaceX CRS-16
flight, scheduled for mid-November. The other four, scheduled to launch on subsequent
flights, include lung host defense, the blood-brain barrier, musculoskeletal disease
and kidney function. This phase tests the effects of microgravity on the tissue
chips and demonstrates the capability of the automated system.

All five investigations make a
second flight about 18 months later to confirm use of the model, such as testing
potential drugs on the particular organs. Four more projects are scheduled for
launch in summer 2020, including two on engineered heart tissue to understand
cardiovascular health, one on muscle wasting and another on gut inflammation.

Ultimately, the technology
could allow astronauts going into space to take along personalized chips that
could be used to monitor changes in their bodies and to test possible
countermeasures and therapies. That would be a major leap forward in keeping
astronauts healthy on missions to deep space!

Make sure
to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:
http://nasa.tumblr.com

Fans
of science in space can now experience fast-moving footage in even higher
definition as NASA delivers the first 8K ultra high definition (UHD) video of
astronauts living, working and conducting research from the International
Space Station
.

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The
same engineers who sent high-definition (HD) cameras, 3D cameras, and a camera
capable of recording 4K footage to the space station have now delivered a new
camera– Helium
8K camera by RED – capable of recording images
with four times the
resolution than the previous camera offered.

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Let’s compare this
camera to others
: The Helium 8K camera is capable of
shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 8K, specifically 8192
x 4320 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to
1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project 2K to 4K.

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Viewers can
watch as crew members advance DNA sequencing in space with the BEST
investigation, study dynamic forces between sediment particles with BCAT-CS,
learn about genetic differences in space-grown and Earth-grown plants with Plant
Habitat-1
, observe low-speed water jets to improve combustion
processes within engines with Atomization
and explore station facilities such as the MELFI,
the Plant
Habitat
, the Life
Support Rack
, the JEM Airlock and
the CanadArm2.

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Delivered to the station aboard the fourteenth SpaceX
cargo resupply mission through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and RED, this
camera’s ability to record twice the pixels and at resolutions four times
higher than the 4K camera brings science in orbit into the homes, laboratories
and classrooms of everyone on Earth. 

While
the 8K resolutions are optimal for showing on movie screens, NASA video editors
are working on space station footage for public viewing on YouTube. Viewers will
be able to watch high-resolution footage from inside and outside the orbiting
laboratory right on their computer screens. Viewers will need a screen capable
of displaying 8K resolution for the full effect, but the imagery still trumps
that of standard cameras. RED videos and pictures are shot at a higher fidelity
and then down-converted, meaning much more information is captured in the
images, which results in higher-quality playback, even if viewers don’t have an
8K screen.   

The full UHD files are available for download for use in broadcast. Read the NASA media usage
guidelines

There’s a whole universe of mysteries out there to put some fun—and maybe a touch of fright—into your All Hallows Eve festivities. Here are a few:

1. Universe of Monsters

Mythical monsters of Earth have a tough time of it. Vampires don’t do sunlight. Werewolves must wait for a full Moon to howl. Now, thanks to powerful space telescopes, some careful looking and a lot of whimsy, NASA scientists have found suitable homes for the most terrifying Halloween monsters.

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2. Be a Spacecraft

No costume. No problem. NASA Blueshift offers some handy tips on transforming yourself into a powerful space telescope before hitting the sidewalk to trick-or-treat.

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3. Robot Pumpkins

At Halloween, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory craft dramatic creations that have as much in common with standard jack-o’-lanterns as paper airplanes do with NASA spacecraft. The unofficial pumpkin carving contest gives engineers a chance to flex their creative muscles and bond as a team. The rules are simple: no planning, carving or competing during work hours.

The results? See for yourself!

Can’t wait to see this year’s creations? Do it yourself!

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4. Skull Comet

Scientists think a large space rock that zipped past Earth on Halloween in 2015 was most likely a dead comet or an asteroid that, fittingly, bore an eerie resemblance to a skull.

“The object might be a dead comet, but in the (radar) images it appears to have donned a skull costume for its Halloween flyby,” said NASA scientist Kelly Fast,

As with a lot of spooky things, the asteroid looked a lot less scary upon closer inspection.

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5. Spooky Sun

Not to be outdone, the Sun—our star—has been known to put on a scary face.

In this October 2014 Solar Dynamic Observatory image, active regions on the Sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face.

The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy—markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This image blends together two sets of wavelengths at 171 and 193 angstroms, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.

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6. Halloween on a Mission

Halloween held a special significance for NASA’s Cassini mission, which launched in October 1997. The team held its own elaborate pumpkin carving competitions for many years. The mission also shared whimsical Halloween greetingswith its home planet.

Cassini ended its extended mission at Saturn in 2017.

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7. The Ghost of Cassiopeia

The brightest stars embedded in nebulae throughout our galaxy pour out a torrent of radiation that eats into vast clouds of hydrogen gas – the raw material for building new stars. This etching process sculpts a fantasy landscape where human imagination can see all kinds of shapes and figures. This nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia has flowing veils of gas and dust that have earned it the nickname “Ghost Nebula.”

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8. They’re Everywhere

Turns out the human mind—including space scientists and engineers among us—find spooky shapes in many places.

This infrared view of the Helix Nebula reminded astronomers of a zombie eyeball.

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9. What Do You See?

The Oct. 26 Earth Observatory’s Puzzler feature offers a spooky shape for your consideration. What is it and what does it look like? You tell us.

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10. Space Candy

The trick-or-treat tradition is still—so far—pretty much confined to Earth. But thanks to the men and women who have been living aboard the International Space Station for more than 17 years, we have a preview of what a future space-based trick-or-treater’s Halloween candy haul would look like in microgravity.

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Bonus: 11. Want More?

Our education team offers a bunch more Halloween activities, including space-themed pumpkin stencils, costume tips and even some mysteries to solve like a scientist or engineer.

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Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

The Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency
H-IIB
rocket is zooming toward the International
Space Station
carrying NASA’s Life
Sciences Glovebox
, a state-of-the-art microgravity research
facility.

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JAXA’s HTV3, taken during Expedition 32

NASA’s Marshall Space
Flight Center
in Huntsville, Alabama, and their partners around the
world are excited to initiate new, high-value biological research in low-Earth
orbit.

The Japanese rocket, hauling the
research facility and other cargo via the HTV-7 transfer vehicle, successfully
lifted off at

1:52 p.m. EDT

from Tanegashima Space Center off the coast of
Japan.

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Its launch marks a first for hauling
bulky equipment to space. Roughly the size of a large fish
tank, the Life Sciences Glovebox comes
in at 26 inches high, 35 inches wide and 24 inches deep, with 15 cubic feet of
available workspace.

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“The Life Sciences Glovebox
is on its way to the space station to enable a host of biological and
physiological studies, including new research into microgravity’s
long-term impact on the human body
,” said Yancy Young, project manager at Marshall. “This
versatile facility not only will help us better protect human explorers on long
voyages into deep space, but it could aid medical and scientific advances
benefiting the whole world.”

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Boeing engineers at Marshall modified a
refrigerator-freezer rack to house the core facility, using state-of-the-art,
3D-printing technology to custom design key pieces of the rack to secure the
unit in its protective foam clamshell.

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NASA is now determining the roster of science
investigations lined up to make use of the facility, beginning as early as late
2018. “We’ve already got more than a dozen glovebox experiments scheduled
in 2019, with many more to follow,” said Chris Butler, payload integration manager for the glovebox at
Marshall.

The Life Sciences Glovebox will
be transferred to a zero-gravity stowage rack in the station’s Kibo
module, where up to two crew members can conduct experiments simultaneously,
overseen in real-time by project researchers on Earth.

Check out more pictures of the
Glovebox HERE!

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An International
Space Station
investigation called BCAT-CS studies dynamic forces between
sediment particles that cluster together.

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For the study, scientists sent mixtures of quartz and clay particles to the space
station and subjected them to various levels of simulated gravity.

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Conducting the experiment in microgravity makes it possible to separate out different forces that act on sediments and look at the function of
each.

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Sediment systems of quartz and clay occur many places on Earth, including rivers,
lakes, and oceans, and affect many
activities,
from deep-sea hydrocarbon drilling to carbon sequestration.

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Understanding how
sediments behave
has a range of applications on Earth, including predicting and mitigating erosion, improving water
treatment, modeling the carbon cycle,
sequestering contaminants and more accurately finding deep sea oil
reservoirs.

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It also may provide insight for future studies of the
geology of new and unexplored planets.

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Follow @ISS_RESEARCH to
learn more.

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