How to poop in orbit – astronaut Sam Cristoforetti’s how-to video

More at the Washington Post, or hit Cristoforetti’s webpage for articles and other videos. The International Space Station also has a new coffee machine that makes espresso. It was designed by Lavazza, the Italian coffee company. Molto buono!

China sends first female astronaut on space mission

JISHOU, HUNAN –While the USA is busy retiring the remaining Space Shuttles, China is busy building up its human space flight program by leaps and bounds. This afternoon, it launched its first woman taikonaut and two male colleagues on a two-week-long test of an orbiting space module. Former fighter pilot Liu Yang 刘洋, 33, was recruited into China’s space program just two years ago. Her mission comes exactly 49 years after the launch of Valentina Tereshkova (now 75) of the former Soviet Union, who was the first woman in space and the first civilian. America’s first woman in space, Sally Ride (now 61), orbited in the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. Shenzhou 9 blasted off from China’s launch facility in the Gobi Desert on schedule at 6:37 pm local time. The launch was broadcast live on national TV, a sign of China’s confidence in its space program. (Of course, following the American, Russian and European space programs does give them an edge.) The three astronauts will test docking procedures with a test module, the 10.5 meter long Tiangong, and spend a about two weeks in Tiangong before coming back to the surface. Tiangong 1 (天宫 Heavenly Palace) was put in ...
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