Apple TV app will wow you with stunning shots of Earth

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The Aurora Borealis over the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the International Space Station
The Aurora Borealis over the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the International Space Station
Photo: Jetson Creative

I’ve always wanted to go into space. The now-familiar view of our “big blue marble” have always fascinated and entranced me, even as a young boy.

With Earthlapse TV, I can stare out of a virtual window from the International Space Station to watch the coast of Northern Australia spin past my high viewpoint, see the aurora borealis as it shimmers above the northern hemisphere, or watch as the world turns from London to Africa beneath my gaze.

This is a gorgeous app and a perfect fit for the big-screen TV in my living room.

NASA’s space shuttle to fly again – or at least pieces of it

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NASA recently pulled the water tanks from the space shuttle Endeavor.
NASA recently pulled the water tanks from the space shuttle Endeavor.
Photo: California Science Center

If you get to a museum to see one of the shuttles that actually flew in space, your jaw may drop. Just don’t mind the guys pulling parts from it.

NASA recently sent engineers to the California Science Center in Los Angeles to dust off the mothballs of the space shuttle Endeavor and remove four water storage tanks for future use aboard the International Space Station.

At the International Space Station, it’s Suntory time

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Suntory whiskey mellows with age, but the company wants to know how it tastes after time in space.
Suntory whiskey mellows with age, but the company wants to know how it tastes after time in space.
Photo: Suntory

We should pity the astronauts on the International Space Station, especially the two who are currently there for a year.

Just feet away from where they probably drink their Tang, the Japanese Experiment Module will soon hold samples of that country’s legendary Suntory whiskey to see how it ages in microgravity.

Suntory announced last week that it was sending whiskey samples on a Japanese transfer vehicle that will take off on Aug. 16 to rendezvous with the ISS. Some of the whiskey will be stored for up to two years to see how it mellows in space.

Screaming ‘fire!’ in a crowded Russian space capsule is useless

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ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, left, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov work through artificial fire aboard a Soyuz simulator.
ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, left, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov work through artificial fire aboard a Soyuz simulator.

A first-class flight in a Soyuz space capsule is rocky, reliable and rather snug. An astronaut sits in a semi-fetal position, works the controls with a stick and feels a pretty heavy G load, especially on reentry.

So imagine if a fire breaks out on the Soyuz spacecraft. There’s no extinguisher, no exit and no help to call.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen narrated a video showing he and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov going through a simulated fire on a capsule to train for an upcoming flight to the International Space Station.

This toilet demo shows how astronauts boldly go in space

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Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took time out from her work aboard the International Space Station to explain how astronauts go to the bathroom in zero gravity. Photo: ESA/YouTube
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took time out from her work aboard the International Space Station to explain how astronauts go to the bathroom in zero gravity. Photo: ESA/YouTube

We have a reinvigorated interest in the mysteries of space. Astronaut Scott Kelly is just beginning a record-breaking stint in zero gravity, a space probe is about to fly by Pluto and manned missions to an asteroid and Mars are in the pipeline.

There is also the ongoing science on how to go to the bathroom in space, where things tend to float.

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti explained that mystery over the weekend, when she took time from her work on the International Space Station to give a video tour of the bathroom (see below) and delicately describe going Numbers 1 and 2 in zero gravity.

Diva takes her singing to new heights — space

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British singer Sarah Brightman during training at Star City in Russia. Photo: Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
British singer Sarah Brightman during training at Star City in Russia. Photo: Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

British singer Sarah Brightman has a five-octave vocal range and millions have paid top dollar to hear her sing. But to hit the highest note of her career, Brightman is spending her own money.

Brightman is paying a reported $52 million to become the first singer to travel in space. She will board a Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 1 for a 10-day trip aboard the International Space Station. It is the most expensive space tourist trip on record, according to the TASS Russian News Agency.

Photos of Brightman’s training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City near Moscow, can be found on her website and in Wednesday’s Daily Mail, which gave a detailed account of her training.

Space-walking astronaut safe after water found in helmet

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Astronaut Terry Virts as he works on a robotic arm outside the International Space Station Wednesday. Photo: NASA
Astronaut Terry Virts as he works on a robotic arm outside the International Space Station Wednesday. Photo: NASA

Wardrobe malfunctions can happen with every style of clothing. It’s just a little terrifying when it happens to an astronaut on a spacewalk.

NASA astronaut Terry Virts reported a floating blob of water inside his helmet Wednesday after completing a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to perform cable and lube work outside the International Space Station.

Flatworms in space might hold key to human immortality

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Flatworms are headed to the International Space Station and their sacrifice in the name of research gets a salute on the Kentucky Space mission patch.
Flatworms are headed to the International Space Station. Their sacrifice in the name of research gets a salute on the Kentucky Space mission patch. Photo: Kentucky Space

Flatworms are the darlings of the molecular biology field. What scientist doesn’t love a species that can lose an organ or body part — even its head — and grow it back?

It’s quite a trick. We’ll see if they can do it in space.

About 150 planarian flatworms, creatures that are happiest living in rivers or under a log, have first-class tickets aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, which will take them to the International Space Station for an experiment that could unlock the key to human immortality.

NASA Is Sending The Angry Birds Into Space, And They’re Taking Some iPads With Them

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Up until now, the Angry Birds have stayed terrestrial, pushing their beaks no higher than the cumulus clouds in their squawking, feather-strewn war against the evil Pig Armada.

That’s about to change. The Angry Birds are going to outer space. No, Rovio’s not doing a sci-fi themed Angry Birds sequel, although that’s not a shabby idea: NASA is sending some iPads to the International Space Station, along with an Angry Bird plush toy.