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April 18, 2014
Space to Ground - 4/18/2014

Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters: Welcome to Space To Ground. Your weekly look at what’s happening onboard ISS. I’m Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters.

Preparations for an unexpected spacewalk have been taking place onboard the station…

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson spent much of the week readying their spacesuits for an extravehicular excursion to replace a faulty computer relay box on the ISS exterior. The hardware, which provides back up commanding for key station systems, exhibited problems last Friday. The spacewalk is scheduled to take place within the next week. For the latest updates, log on to nasa.gov/station.

The launch of Spacex’s Dragon cargo craft was postponed on Monday…

A helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket’s stage separation system caused the delay. The issue has been resolved, though, and Dragon is slated to launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at 3:25pm eastern time on Friday. The ship will deliver over 5,000 pounds of equipment, food, and supplies to the ISS.

What better place to celebrate Earth Day this Tuesday than from space?!

The space station gives us breathtaking images of Earth that are helping us better understand our planet. Researchers are using Earth-observation experiments to learn more about everything from natural disasters to agriculture to climate change, and stunning photos like this one help coral reef managers better support our precious marine environments. To learn more, check out nasa.gov/earthrightnow. 

And while you’re there, find out how you can be a part of NASA’s Earth Day poster by posting a picture using the hashtag global-selfie. 

This week, Marianna asks how many people can live on the station? Good question.

While there is usually a crew of six onboard, the space station can support up to nine people.  In fact, a crew of nine will be onboard for a special, but short ten-day mission next year.

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

Page Last Updated: April 18th, 2014
Page Editor: Jerry Wright