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March 21, 2014
Space to Ground - 3/21/2014

VO: Houston, station on space to ground.

Josh Byerly: Welcome to Space to Ground. Your weekly look at what’s happening on board the ISS. I’m Josh Byerly.

Steve Swanson, Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov are in Kazakhstan getting ready to launch to the station next week.

The three are going through some final preps for their trip into space and will talk to the media on Monday. Launch time is scheduled for 5:17 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, and we’ll have live coverage on NASA television and nasa.gov. This will be the first trip into space for Artemyev, the second for Skvortsov and the third for Swanson.

The station steered out of the way of some orbital debris this week.

On Sunday, Mission Control Houston monitored a piece of a Russian satellite that was launched back in 1979. Just to play it safe, the station’s altitude was raised late that night to clear it of debris’ path. This is the first time since 2012 the station has had to conduct one of these maneuvers.

Have you ever looked at one of those optical illusion drawings that looks like one thing, but when you keep staring at it, it looks totally different? Well, the crew is studying this effect on board the station. It’s called Reversible Figures, and it’s a European experiment that looks at how the crew’s perception of these drawings can change when up in space. This will help us understand how our brains work differently when off the planet. The way astronauts perceive the space around them is really important when doing things like spacewalks or steering the robotic arm around.

We are happy to say that a longstanding tradition continues in Mission Control.

The Shelton family here in Texas started sending roses to the flight control team during STS-26, the first mission after the Challenger disaster and they have sent them for every single flight since. There are red roses for each crew member and a single white rose to represent those that have lost their lives in the pursuit of spaceflight. As always, we send our thanks to the Sheltons.

Make sure to keep sending us your questions and comments using the hashtag #spacetoground.  We’ll see you next week.

Page Last Updated: March 21st, 2014
Page Editor: Jerry Wright