Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Science Night : The International Space Station 

The construction of the International Space Station began in the late 90s. It has been occupied continuously for almost 20 years. Always someone there.

So what good is a laboratory in space? The key is that certain things can be done in a weightless environment that cannot be done on earth. So lots of science is happening all the time—not 24/7, they do sleep—but continuously throughout the year. In actual fact, the space station environment is not truly weightless. Gravity in the space station is about 90% of gravity on earth. But orbit is a process of continuously falling. That "always falling" state produces an effective weightlessness.

This tour is really quite well done, I think. It is casual and not tightly scripted, but I like it better that way. It is really good to let scientists like this talk freely and explain the life and activity they live with every day.

As I mentioned in the Science Night post on the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station was built of components which were shipped to space on the Shuttle. Now that the Americans have phased out the Space Shuttle, it would be really tough to try to build a station of this size. But not to worry—the Space Station is expected to operate until 2030.

I strongly encourage you to get a cup of coffee and enjoy this casual tour of the International Space Station. This is really good science.

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