Sometimes robots need a place to stay in space, too. NASA is attaching a “robot hotel” to the outside of the International Space Station with the upcoming launch of the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS), a protective storage unit for critical robotic tools.
RiTS is set to launch on Dec. 4 aboard the 19th SpaceX commercial resupply mission. Its first residents will be two Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL). Outfitted with mass spectrometers capable of “sniffing” out the presence of gases such as ammonia, these robotic tools are used to detect leaks from the station. Two RELL units are on board the station right now: the first RELL launched in 2015, and it proved to be such a success that a second RELL was launched as a backup earlier this year.
Today, Brad Pitt — who is set to play a gun-wielding, pirate-hunting astronaut in the upcoming film Ad Astra — got the chance to speak to someone who actually has the job of his on-screen character: an astronaut on board the International Space Station. While at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Pitt chatted with astronaut Nick Hague who has been living on the ISS since March.
ISS astronauts are fairly accustomed to doing interviews with journalists and schoolchildren while in space, but it’s a rare occasion when a movie actor is the voice on the line. Pitt started his line of questioning firmly in the entertainment sphere, asking Hague how realistic his new movie is when it comes to physics. (While the movie comes out on September 20th here on Earth, Hague and his fellow astronauts got to see it in advance.)
Global warming, nuclear war, and asteroid hits. There are so many ways the world could end, but now NASA and the ESA are working on a trial to deflect would be Earth-shattering asteroids.
This experiment by the European Space Agency (ESA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will attempt to deflect an asteroid by hitting it with refrigerator-sized spacecraft “capable of deflecting asteroids and prevent them from colliding with Earth.”
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was a guest on the radio show “Science Friday” last week. During his appearance on the show, Bridenstine said that a woman is “likely to be” the first person on Mars. . . . READ MORE >>>