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A New Space Race (and other news)

ISS%20Marathon.jpgI’ve read some interesting news about the International Space Station over the past week as the 14th expedition crew was replaced by the incoming 15th expedition. It has been overshadowed by much more important breaking news, and rightfully so. But I thought I’d give a bit of a recap of some of the more notable events:
  • Michael Lopez-Alegria set two U.S. space records. He spent 215 days in space, setting the U.S. record for one trip. He also completed five spacewalks, which gave him a total of 10 for his career, the most by any American. (NASA incorrectly cites his total time 57 hours, 40 minutes as another record but Jerry Ross spent 58 hours and 18 minutes in space during 9 walks.)
  • Charles Simonyi, chief designer of Microsoft’s Word and Excel programs, became the fifth space tourist. He arrived with the incoming 15th crew on April 9 and left with the departing 14th crew on April 21. He brought a meal of quail, duck, rice pudding and dried fruits catered by his friend Martha Stewart.
  • On April 16, Sunita Williams ran a marathon in space in conjunction with the Boston Marathon, the first time any person has run that long a distance in zero gravity. She ran all 26.2 miles on a treadmill with an official time of 4:23:10. NASA has posted footage of Williams running the marathon.

The marathon woman will also handily beat Lopez-Algeria’s time in space record if she remains on board until the current crew departs in October.

ISS News and video from NASA
Charles Simonyi’s Webpage for the trip

Suni running the marathon. Image credit: NASA


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