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december 29, 2015 - NASA

Space to Ground - A Look Back

WELCOME TO SPACE TO GROUND, YOUR WEEKLY LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING ON BOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. I’M DAN HUOT.
2015 IS DRAWING TO AND END AND WHAT A YEAR IT WAS FOR SCIENCE IN SPACE.
CREW MEMBERS SPENT A WHOPPING 1900 HOURS THIS YEAR WORKING ON 450 EXPERIMENTS ON THE ORBITAL LABORATORY. HIGHLIGHTS? HOW ABOUT GROWING AND EATING LETTUCE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SPACE AS PART OF THE VEGGIE EXPERIMENT, SOMETHING THAT NOT ONLY BRINGS A WELCOME TASTE OF HOME TO STATION CREWS BUT WILL BE A VITAL TECHNOLOGY ON A FUTURE JOURNEY TO MARS. THIS WAS ALSO A HALLMARK YEAR FOR HUMAN RESEARCH IN SPACE, WITH SEVERAL INVESTIGATIONS FOCUSED ON THE FIRST ONE-YEAR MISSION. NASA’S SCOTT KELLY AND ROSCOSMOS’ MIKHAIL KORNIENKO ARE AT THE CENTER OF A NUMBER OF EXPERIMENTS PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES ON WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HUMANS LIVING IN SPACE FOR EXTREME PERIODS OF TIME.
AND TO KEEP EVERYTHING RUNNING, THERE WERE PLENTY OF LAUNCHES, SPACEWALKS AND MORE.
EIGHT CARGO VEHICLES CARRIED SUPPLIES TO THE STATION IN 2015, INCLUDING TWO SPACEX DRAGONS, ONE ORBITAL ATK CYGNUS, 4 RUSSIAN PROGRESSES AND A JAPANESE HTV. FOUR SOYUZ CRAFTS LAUNCHED CREWS TO THE STATION, INCLUDING THE FIRST KAZAKH, DANISH AND BRITISH CREW MEMBERS. SEVEN SPACEWALKS ALSO TOOK PLACE, UPGRADING THE STATION AND PERFORMING REPAIRS TO KEEP IT IN TIP-TOP SHAPE. AND IN NOVEMBER, THE SPACE STATION CELEBRATED 15 NON-STOP YEARS OF HUMANS LIVING AND WORKING OFF THE EARTH, FOR THE EARTH.  
AS EXCITING AS 2015 WAS FOR THE STATION, 2016 IS ALREADY SHAPING UP TO BE EXTRAORDINARY YEAR.
THE ONE-YEAR CREW IS SET TO RETURN MARCH 1, WRAPPING UP 340 DAYS IN SPACE, THE LONGEST DURATION MISSION EVER IN #iss HISTORY. AND SOME MAJOR SCIENCE PAYLOADS PLAN ON MAKING THE STATION THEIR HOME IN 2016. THE BIGELOW EXPANDABLE ACTIVITY MODULE, OR BEAM, IS A LIGHTWEIGHT, INFLATABLE HABITAT THAT WILL DEMONSTRATE A NEW WAY TO PROVIDE A COMFORTABLE AREA FOR ASTRONAUTS TO LIVE AND WORK, AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO HELP DRIVE EXPLORATION. AND TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE EARTH BELOW, THE SAGE III DEVICE WILL FLY NEXT YEAR TO MONITOR AEROSOLS, THE OZONE LAYER AND OTHER GASES, VITAL FOR IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
AND SO WE’LL CLOSE THIS YEAR WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE CREW FOR THE HOLIDAYS. KEEP SENDING THOSE QUESTIONS IN 2016 USING THE HASHTAG SPACE-TO-GROUND, WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR.