Tag: sts-134’

En Route to the Space Station

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

My sound experiment post will have to wait, because the video NASA is posting from the space shuttle Endeavour is too cool not to share! The video above is from day 2 of the mission as STS-134’s crew travels to the International Space Station.

The astronauts are hard at work, and one of the first things you’ll see is Astronaut Mark Kelly shaking up some plastic cylinders to start a microbiology experiment!!! At the NASA tweetup, we got to see one of these culture tubes close up!

The tube has three compartments: bacteria, liquid food for bacteria, and tiny worms called nematodes that the bacteria can infect! First, they mix the bacteria with the food, then they mix the bacteria with the worms. In space, the bacteria get really “infectious”and “virulent”, and researchers on back earth study them and use the information to make better vaccines to keep people healthy.
Have you ever heard of Salmonella bacteria that can be in eggs and make people sick? This is one of the bacteria they’re studying!

Today, NASA posted this great video of Endeavour “doing a final backflip before docking with the space station.”

Godspeed Endeavour

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Twenty kids stopped eating donuts long enough to shout out a countdown this morning in my living room. We gasped as Endeavour’s rockets blossomed, smiled at the crackle and roar and cheered as she ascended, rolled gracefully and disappeared into the clouds with a flash of orange. We watched in awe as the side booster rockets blew off and the shuttle floated free of the external tank with the curve of the earth in the background. I have to admit that I got a little misty- not because I wasn’t standing at the countdown clock to experience it live, but because despite the laws of physics and all the safety precautions, it still seems like a miracle each time we send people safely into orbit.