Astronauts in space

STS-131 / Exp 23 group photo

STS-131 / Exp 23 group photo

The Space Shuttle mission which just undocked from the International Space Station, STS-131, has beamed down from orbit some great photos of astronauts in space. This is a wonderful chance for us stuck planetside to remind ourselves that we have people living and working in spaceships!

The Discovery crew in the Cupola

The Discovery crew in the Cupola

And, of course, this mission is historic for having the largest number of women simultaneously in space – four out of the thirteen total crew. Considering small-number statistics, that is pretty close to a fifty-fifty split! Here is the orbiting Bay Stater, Stephanie Wilson:

MS Wilson in the Kibo laboratory

MS Wilson in the Kibo laboratory

And here’s JAXA’s Naoko Yamazaki in the Destiny laboratory at a robotics console made of lots of ThinkPads taped to the ISS wall,

MS Yamazaki in Destiny

MS Yamazaki in Destiny

although I think this is my favorite picture of Yamazaki!

In the Cupola!

In the Cupola!

That’s where JAXA astronaut Soich Noguchi has been taking and Twittering down amazing Earth-observation and Space Station photos. (That is the single best application of Twitter I have ever seen, and is not likely to be surpassed, ever.)

Finally, I will leave you with astronaut family dinner!

I love astronauts (PS - obey the speed limit: 28,000 kph!)

I love astronauts (PS - obey the speed limit: 28,000 kph!)

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