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Saturday, 31 December 2016

6 stunning images from the International Space Station

Are you looking for a  gift with a difference? How about art by a mad scientist?
The International Space Station: A  football field sized orbiting laboratory - also home away from home, a port for spaceships from many nations, and even a tourist destination....

The ISS crew have a busy schedule, but not a nonstop one - it does allow a certain amount of time casually lounging by the window and looking at the Earth - as demonstrated by Tracey Caldwell Dyson here.

Although it does a lot of pure science experiments, the ISS is also a test bed for new technologies, and new in space construction methods. In this shot one of the crew floats in the middle of the BEAM habitat, an experimental kind of room for space stations that is flown up folded, and inflated to full size in space.

To lay the foundations for future missions, and to give the crew's diet a bit of variety, the ISS crew grow vegetables in hydroponic bays. Kjel Lindgren shows off a crop of Red Romaine lettuce for the camera.

If you're going to play the guitar in a space station you'd better be able to play a selection everyone likes, or you may see it go floating past your bedroom window  one day

In the background a Dragon supply ship is  being brought into dock using the space station's crane like robotic arm. In the foreground... what can I say apart from: If you've got a dream....

This picture is emblematic of the perils the crew face: This innocuous mark is a crack in one of the stations quadruple  glazed windows. It was probably caused by something smaller than a fleck of paint, but travelling many times faster than a bullet.

A space shuttle moves in to dock with the station, as both a silhouetted against the Sun in this amazing photograph by
Thierry Legault.

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