5 exciting things that you should know about the ISS in 2019!

  1. Making History

2019 was a very exciting year for space exploration as two Nasa astronauts embarked on the first ever all-female spacewalk! Jessica Meir and Christina Koch were tasked with replacing a failed power control unit. This was the 221st spacewalk performed on the ISS but it was the first to be totally undertaken by women.

Image Credit: NASA

2. Green-fingered

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir took part in the continuous project (the VEF-04B experiment) to grow fresh food in space. She is pictured here watering Mizuna mustard greens which the astronauts were then able to eat! This is a very important and exciting experiment to be part of as it could solve some of our issues for further space travel.

Image Credit: NASA

3. SPHERES Robots

Imagine being able to say as a teenager that you helped astronauts onboard the ISS? Well Middle School Students who took part in the ‘SPHERES Zero Robotics’ programme did just that! The students worked hard to develop algorithms to operate robots on board the space station.

Image Credit: NASA

4. The Great Space Bake Off!

Move over Paul Hollywood, there’s a new baker…in space! 2019 marked the first instance of baking in space. An oven was launched to the space station for astronauts to bake chocolate chip cookies in. This was not just an excuse for the astronauts to have some sweet treats; it was to test what impact high heat and zero gravity have on the consistency of the cookies. If you watch the video below it looks as though the astronauts are happy with the results!

5. Alzheimer’s disease in microgravity

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano has been taking part in the Amyloid Aggregation investigation which assesses whether microgravity affects the formation of particular fibrils that are associated with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This work is important as it will flag potential risks to astronauts on longer flights in the future.

Image Credit: NASA