Jan 28, 2020

Astronaut snaps a view of the lights of the aurora from orbit

Photo: NASA

Looking down on the lights of the aurora from above is something very view people have had the chance to experience.

The intrigue: This photo, taken by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station, gives those of us bound to Earth's surface a taste of what the view from space is like.

  • The photo was taken at night on Jan. 22, when the station was about 261 miles above the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North America, NASA said.

1 fun thing: It takes the space station about 90 minutes to complete an orbit around Earth, meaning that the astronauts and cosmonauts on the space laboratory experience about 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

Go deeper ... Your weekly dose of awe: A space-time warp

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Axiom's big space station future

Artist's illustration of Axiom's space station modules. Image: Axiom Space

Axiom Space wants to build a space station for a new age of exploration, and last week, the Houston-based company started moving ahead with its plans in earnest.

Driving the news: NASA announced that the company has been chosen to add its first module to the International Space Station, opening up the orbiting laboratory to more commercial activities in the future.

Go deeperArrowFeb 4, 2020 - Science

SpaceX inks deal to fly space tourists to orbit

NASA astronaut Suni Williams inside a mockup of a Crew Dragon capsule. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX has penned a deal with the space tourism outfit Space Adventures to launch private citizens to orbit aboard the company's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: SpaceX is building and testing the Crew Dragon to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, but this announcement shows they're thinking about orbital space tourism as a possible driver of revenue for them in the future.

Go deeperArrowFeb 18, 2020 - Science

Astronaut Christina Koch lands on Earth after record-setting mission

NASA's Christina Koch. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is back on Earth after spending 328 days in space, living and working onboard the International Space Station.

Why it matters: During her time in orbit, Koch participated in the first all-woman spacewalk and set a record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut in history.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - Science