This week in space

This has to be the oddest week ever in the history of manned space flight.  Since the shuttle Endeavour’s docking with the space station, an odd-maybe goofy-set of events have taken place. Among them are:

  • a spider-an orbit spider, irony did ensue-went ‘missing’.  Said spider’s web was a mess and not the mystical works of art they are on earth. Seems spiders do, in fact, need gravity.
  • a tool belt became another satellite when an astronaut made a mistake and let the belt drift away
  • the inhabitants will be drinking water that was formerly urine, among other things, courtesy a new filtration/recycling system.  The new system will go ‘live’ sometime in the spring…after much testing.  I can’t imagine why.
  • the space station got upgraded: two new bedrooms, a second bathroom, gym and kitchen were added to the station, completing the living quarters.  A Starbucks is rumored to be going up next to the gym.  (I am kidding about that part…but, who knows.)
  • the space station turns ten years old this week, no word on new shutters or paint.  It did, however, get a grease job (on the solar panel joints) as well as new ball bearings.

In all seriousness, this has probably been one of the most intense station oriented mission in quite a while.  While I may make light of some of the events, I am also very impressed with what the astronauts are doing and the fact that the station has been occupied, almost continuously, since that first Russian module went up ten years ago. That we’ve stuck by the station and continue to fund and support is an amazing feat in and of itself.  I hope we continue that and more.  I also hope they find that spider.  You know, speaking of that spider, I wonder what it thought about liftoff.  You just KNOW it had to wonder what the hell was going on.

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