The cool thing about space is that it can make even the least cool topics and ideas nearly too cool for words. Case in point: on the way home, the space shuttle jettisoned some human waste. What happened next was caught on film.

Granted, it was more human waste than they usually have to dispose of because of some new rules about not performing a major toilet flush while linked with the space station. And frankly, who can blame them? I certainly wouldn’t want my space habitat to be followed in perpetuity with a trail of sewage. But if this is going to be the show that we’ll be privy to — if you’ll pardon the pun — every time the shuttle undocks from the space station, I’m going to start making it a point to try to watch it happen.

While you’re waiting for the space shuttle to launch, be sure to check out NASA’s new streaming video from the ISS. When they don’t actually have video streaming, it shows the flyover path so you can get an idea if you’ll be able to see it pass overhead. If you can’t watch the video, for whatever reason, you can still listen to the mission audio.


…the ISS is about to take your place.

Venus is about to be ousted as the brightest star-like object in the night sky. The next space shuttle mission, STS-119 is slated to launch on Wednesday night, March 11 at 9:20 p.m. EDT (1:20 a.m. Thursday March 12 GMT), and astronauts will deliver and install the fourth and final set of solar array wings to the International Space Station. Once the array is deployed, the station will surpass Venus as the brightest object in the night sky, second only to the Moon. The new array will increase the amount of electricity available for science experiments by 50%, providing the power needed for the ISS to house a crew of 6 astronauts instead of the current 3.

I’ve seen an ISS pass, though not for a few years. The coolest one was shortly after I moved to FL in ’97 when the husband and I went down to the beach near dawn to watch a shuttle launch and the ISS passed over shortly after. You can see if the ISS is scheduled to fly over your location within the next 10 days at Heavens Above or just track it at NASA’s shuttle tracking page.

Happy star/object gazing!

This is only my third post, and you’re likely already noticing a pattern here. That’s because I flat out think space is cool. Period. I doubt anything that anyone could tell me would change my mind. But that’s not the only thing I think is cool, promise. Something different tomorrow!