Midnight In The Desert — astronauts

Astronauts Are Returning To Earth With Altered Genes

Posted by K R on

Astronauts Are Returning To Earth With Altered Genes

Since the dawn of space exploration in the mid-twentieth century, it’s been many people’s dream to venture into outer space at least once. While some commercial spaceflight firms offer trips into the great black vacuum, these are out of the price range of most individuals. However much many of us dream about leaving the clutches of Earth’s gravity and staring down at our planet from above, spaceflight does not come without its health risks. Astronaut twins Mark and Scott Kelly have been undergoing NASA's "Twin Study" to track which health risks in space may have an underlying genetic cause. Aside...

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All 'Original Seven' American astronauts now dead

Posted by K R on

All 'Original Seven' American astronauts now dead

John Glenn's passing on Thursday means that the first seven American astronauts chosen to lead the fledging US space program in 1959 are now dead, ending a groundbreaking chapter in American history. This crew of military aviators, known as the Original Seven, or "Mercury 7," proved that spaceflight was possible, and paved the way for the pioneering US trips to the moon. Their saga inspired the 1979 Tom Wolfe book "The Right Stuff," and the 1983 movie classic of the same name. Here are the feats the seven are best known for, and how they died: Alan B. Shepard, Jr....

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Who should go to Mars?

Posted by K R on

Who should go to Mars?

Elon Musk laid out his plan to colonize Mars at a conference on Tuesday, but it was during the Q&A session that a woman asked one of the key questions: who will be chosen to embark on a risky trip to colonize a harsh planet? “If normal people want to travel to Mars, do we need some specific requirements?” she asked. “Can normal people go?" The SpaceX CEO had two answers to this line of questioning. "We're trying to make it such that anyone can go,” he said, with "maybe a few days of training.” However, the trip will be...

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These Astronauts Are Getting Sealed in a Cave to Practice Life in Space

Posted by K R on

These Astronauts Are Getting Sealed in a Cave to Practice Life in Space

An underground cave is precisely the wrong direction if you’re hoping to go into space—so why is the European Space Agency sending the latest batch of ISS-bound astronauts on a spelunking expedition? To practice for life in a sealed tin can, of course. On July 1st, six astronauts—the ESA’s Pedro Duque, NASA’s Jessica Meir and Richard Arnold, Japan’s Aki Hoshide, China’s Ye Guangfu, and Russia’s Sergei Korsakov— are being sent deep into the caverns of Sardinia, Italy, for what has become a key training exercise before shipping off into the cosmic void. In many ways, caves are an ideal testbed...

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Why an Astronaut Is Exploring the 'Mount Everest of Shipwrecks'

Posted by K R on

Why an Astronaut Is Exploring the 'Mount Everest of Shipwrecks'

An astronaut who's flown five missions in space and climbed Mount Everest has just wrapped up a scientific mission to what divers call the "Mount Everest of Shipwrecks," the S.S. Andrea Doria. It's a "huge bucket list thing," admits Scott Parazynski, who co-piloted the five-person crewed submersible Cyclops I to the wreck, which lies off the coast of Massachusetts at a depth of more than 200 feet (61 meters). The weeklong expedition to the Andrea Doria, organized by submersible company OceanGate, was designed to collect information on the current condition of the wreck. Researchers on return trips to the wreck...

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