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Astronauts

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Wed, February 7 2018

Astronaut Alvin Drew on the Final Days of Discovery

NASA Astronaut and USAF command pilot Alvin Drew shares his reflections on a lifetime of exploring the universe.

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NASA astronaut Alvin Drew, spacesuit fit check
Fri, January 19 2018

John W. Young, an Astronaut’s Astronaut (1930-2018)

As an astronaut, John Young (1930-2018) was one of a kind. He was the first person to fly in space six times, the first person to circle the Moon alone, the first Space Shuttle mission commander, and the first to command another Space Shuttle mission.

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Astronaut John Young, 1965
Wed, January 10 2018

Remembering Bruce McCandless II

Bruce McCandless II (1937-2017) is immortalized in this iconic photograph of an astronaut flying solo high above Earth. He was the first human being to do a spacewalk without a safety tether linked to a spacecraft.

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Astronaut Bruce McCandless II.
Tue, December 12 2017

How Astronauts Return to Earth

If you were freefalling back to Earth from space, would you want to rely on a couple of parachutes and some rockets to protect you from crashing? As crazy as it sounds, that is what allows astronauts aboard the Russian Soyuz capsules to safely return to Earth.

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Astronaut Randy Bresnik Aboard the ISS
Mon, December 4 2017

Photos from the ISS

Did you know that some of the coolest photos of Earth from space were not actually taken by satellites? Many were taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In fact, part of the astronaut training program focuses on how to take photos in space.

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A photo of an aurora over Scotland taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik aboard the International Space Station, November 24, 2017.
Fri, November 24 2017

What's on the Menu? Recipes from the ISS

After all the food has been cleared away, and the good dishes are set aside for the next holiday, a question still remains—what do you do with all your Thanksgiving leftovers? When faced with yet another turkey sandwich, take some inspiration from the creative culinary tastes of astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Food in Space
Tue, November 21 2017

Staying in Shape in Space

Just like athletes everywhere, astronauts have to keep in shape both on Earth and in space. Due to the lack of gravity in space, astronauts experience a decrease in muscle mass and bone density. 

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NASA astronaut Sunita Williams exercises on a treadmill aboard the ISS.
Tue, November 14 2017

Microgravity Science Experiments

Just like you conduct experiments in your science class, astronauts do experiments while in space. The microgravity of space allows astronauts to carry out experiments that would not be possible in the gravity of Earth. There are more than 300 experiments currently happening aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Astronaut Kate Rubins
Tue, November 7 2017

The Meaning of Mission Patches

When you think of an astronaut’s job description, art design may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the astronaut crews on each mission are in charge of designing their team's mission patch. 

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The STS-130 Patch
Wed, November 1 2017

Real Stories of LEGO's "Women of NASA"

A new generation of aspiring astronauts and researchers can find inspiration in the LEGO® “Women of NASA” set. These scientific pioneers are part of our collection here at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, too.

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The "Women of NASA" Lego collection.

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