Blood research continues on ISS. The moon is photographed in its waning gibbous phase just above the Earth’s limb as the International Space Station orbited 258 miles above the North Atlantic Ocean just off the Canadian-American coast.


Blood, eye, and other science research continues on the International Space Station. Its present goal is to conclude experiments where scientists will learn more about the ability to send humans in deeper space. Then, continued longer and safer voyages will be underway in the future.

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While blood, eye, and science experiments continue aboard ISS, time is taken to take a picture of the earth below.

APRIL 26, 2019 – Crew Juggles Emergency Drill, Space Biology and Dragon Preps

The six-member Expedition 59 crew conducted a routine, periodic drill for response to emergencies today in the middle of a science-packed day. The astronauts also researched space biology while preparing for next week’s SpaceX Dragon cargo mission.

The space residents practiced communications, roles and responsibilities, and evacuating the station in the unlikely event of an emergency. The crew would split up, board their Soyuz spacecraft and undock quickly for a ride back to Earth. The two Soyuz crew ships docked to the International Space Station each hold three crewmembers.

NASA Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Anne McClain set up the ultrasound and optometry instruments today for more Fluid Shifts studies. Flight surgeons are exploring what happens to an astronaut’s veins and eyes due to the head-ward flow of fluids caused by microgravity.

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Blood, eye, and tissue research continues while astronauts work away. NASA astronaut Christina Koch works on the COLBERT treadmill inside the Tranquility module.

Hague later checked out command and communications gear he and astronaut David Saint-Jacques will use when the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship arrives next week. Saint-Jacques will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon early Friday, May 2, two days after it launches from Florida. Hague will monitor Dragon’s telemetry during its approach and rendezvous. NASA TV is broadcasting the pre-flight activities and mission events live.

Saint-Jacques and Flight Engineer Christina Koch also split the day feeding mice and cleaning cages for the Rodent Research-12 experiment. The study is investigating the immune system’s response to the conditions of long-term spaceflight.

Commander Oleg Kononenko focused much of his attention today on life support maintenance in the Russian segment of the orbital lab. Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin studied ways to maximize the effectiveness of exercise in the weightless environment of microgravity.

APRIL 25, 2019 – Biomedical, Blood and Botany Research Today as Station Preps for Sixth Spacecraft

Vein scans and eye checks were on the schedule today as the Expedition 59 crew continues ongoing biomedical studies. The International Space Station is also getting ready to host a sixth spacecraft when it arrives next week.

Scientists have been observing the space residents all week as they seek to understand the effects of the upward flow of blood and other body fluids in space. Flight Engineer Anne McClain worked on the Fluid Shifts experiment again today attaching body electrodes to NASA astronaut Nick Hague and conducting ultrasound scans of his veins. She also peered into his eyes using optical tomography coherence hardware. Results may help flight surgeons prevent the increased head and eye pressure caused by the upward fluid shifts astronauts report in space.

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The aurora australis, also known as the “southern lights”, is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 265 miles above the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia.

NASA is also learning how to support longer human missions farther out into space. Feeding crews without expensive cargo missions and fuel-consuming inventories is critical. As a result, the station provides a variety of greenhouse facilities for plant cultivation and research. Christina Koch of NASA set up new botany hardware today to enable the ongoing research and harvesting of lettuce and mizuna in space.

The SpaceX Dragon resupply ship is due to liftoff Tuesday at 4:21 a.m. EDT on its 17th contracted cargo mission to the station. Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques is training to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives Thursday May 2 at 6:50 a.m. A pair of new experiments it is delivering will explore atmospheric carbon dioxide as well as X-ray frequency communication techniques.

APRIL 24, 2019 – More Head and Eye Pressure Research and Dragon Robotics Training

The Expedition 59 crew is unloading one U.S. cargo ship today and preparing for the arrival of another after it launches from Florida next week. The orbital residents also continued exploring how microgravity impacts the human body and a variety of terrestrial materials.

Astronauts Christina Koch and David Saint-Jacques worked Wednesday afternoon to offload some of the 7,600 pounds of cargo the Cygnus space freighter delivered last week. Saint-Jacques is also training today to capture the SpaceX resupply ship with the Canadarm2 robotic arm when it arrives next Thursday. Dragon will be the sixth spaceship parked at the station and occupy the Harmony module’s Earth-facing port.

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This is a view of a supply ship and moored return ship.

The duo also split the day working with a variety of biomedical hardware and research gear to ensure healthy astronauts and successful space research. Koch and Saint-Jacques participated in ultrasound scans for ongoing health checks. Koch then explored the feasibility of manufacturing fiber optic cables in space. Saint-Jacques set up Kubik incubator hardware inside Europe’s Columbus lab module.

NASA Flight Engineers Anne McClain and Nick Hague were back collecting more blood, urine and saliva samples today. The samples are spun in a centrifuge, stowed in a science freezer then analyzed for the long-running Fluid Shifts study. The experiment seeks to understand and prevent the upward flow of body fluids in space that cause head and eye pressure in astronauts.

McClain then studied how living aboard the International Space Station affects her perception and cognition. Hague researched and photographed a variety of coating materials for their thermal protection and optical recognition properties.

APRIL 23, 2019 – Human Research, Materials Science and Robotics on Tuesday’s Schedule

The Expedition 59 crew spent the majority of Tuesday conducting space experiments and setting up research hardware. The International Space Station residents are also continuing to unpack a pair of recently arrived cargo ships while training for the next U.S. cargo mission.

The weightless conditions of microgravity pull fluids towards an astronaut’s head causing a common space phenomenon sometimes called “puffy-face.” Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA spent the morning collecting and stowing his blood, urine and saliva samples for the long-running Fluid Shifts study. The research observes and seeks to reverse the upward flow of fluids causing increased head and eye pressure that concerns flight surgeons.

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Blood research continues on ISS. The moon is photographed in its waning gibbous phase just above the Earth’s limb as the International Space Station orbited 258 miles above the North Atlantic Ocean just off the Canadian-American coast.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch set up hardware in the Destiny lab module to begin researching the feasibility of manufacturing fiber optic cable in space. The Space Fibers study takes place inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox and will explore a blend of materials more transparent than silica-based glass.

A new materials exposure experiment is ready for deployment outside Japan’s Kibo lab module. NASA astronaut Anne McClain installed the MISSE-FF gear inside Kibo’s airlock before depressurizing the unit. Robotics controllers will deploy the exposed sample trays outside the airlock. The study will help scientists understand how radiation, the vacuum of space and micrometeoroids affect a variety of materials.

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Astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain practice Canadarm2 robotics maneuvers and spacecraft capture techniques on the robotics workstation in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques is training for his role to capture the next SpaceX Dragon cargo craft. Hague joined him today for the robotics training and will back him up in the cupola. Dragon is scheduled to launch April 30 from Florida and take a two-day trip to the station where it will be grappled with the Canadarm2 robotic arm and installed to the Harmony module.

Commander Oleg Kononenko helped attach sensors to Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin as the duo researched cardiovascular activity during exercise in space. Kononenko went on to replace smoke detectors as Ovchinin worked on life support maintenance.

APRIL 22, 2019 –

The Expedition 59 crew has been unpacking Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft over the weekend and began science operations on the newly delivered space research. This included blood, eye, and other experiments. The 17th SpaceX Dragon mission is now due to launch next week to replenish the International Space Station.

Three NASA astronauts and one Canadian Space Agency astronaut split the workday measuring the mass of 40 mice shipped to the station aboard Cygnus last week. Flight Engineers Anne McClain and Christina Koch started the first half of the day with Flight Engineers Nick Hague and David Saint-Jacques wrapping up the rodent research work in the afternoon. The quartet used the mass measurement device inside the Life Sciences Glovebox beginning the study to learn how microgravity impacts the immune system.

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The Canadarm2 robotic arm is positioned to grapple the Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft as it approaches its capture point with the International Space Station orbiting 255 miles above the Atlantic Ocean. Highlighting the foreground is the Soyuz MS-12 crew ship docked to the Rassvet module.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is due to join the five other spacecraft parked at the station after it launches from Florida April 30. Dragon is scheduled to arrive May 2 and Saint-Jacques will command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to reach out and capture the cargo vessel. Dragon will deliver over 5,000 pounds of new science, supplies and hardware to the orbital lab.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin stayed focused on the Russian side of the station with their complement of orbital science and lab maintenance. Commander Kononenko updated communications gear, cleaned fans and filters and explored enzyme behaviors. Flight Engineer Ovchinin offloaded cargo from the new Progress 72 resupply ship and studied radiation exposure.

Written By: Mark Garcia NASA

UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

Universal Digest is committed to providing its audience with the most timely news reporting; however, there are times where this is not possible. Therefore, a concise reporting of historical news occurrences are published, as soon as, is practicable.

The importance of human body research for blood, eye, tissue, and organ experimentation is critical to the future of space travel.

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Military Air Force Museum - Space Force Addition Soon - Time Flies

Military organizations in the United States will soon have its newest addition, Space Force. The idea of such an entity has been mentioned on a number of occasions from time-to-time. Until recently, no one has considered this to really be an option after over sixty years of space exploration. Now, there is a permanent habitation (ISS-International Space Station) orbiting earth that has become the norm instead of the exception. So, it means we are here to stay above the earth and beyond.

It is only a matter of time, effort, and technological growth. Such growth is occurring at an exponential rate; however, please bear in mind the fragility of the human body. It must be protected from any negative form situation where damage can occur. I stand in complete support of how the space program has developed over the last sixty-plus years. Having studied the process since childhood, it is amazing to behold. It is only a matter of time for more improved methods of human habitation of space are implemented. This includes propulsion and more artificial gravity innovations are invented.

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International Space Station view.

There is one thing of great importance being sometimes overlooked by people in the general population, as well as, in government, political, and business communities, globally. There are nations that can now launch ICBMs (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) into a low-space arch to land pretty much anywhere on earth on any concentrated populated area. It is almost impossible to defend humanity from such an attack. Ground-based defensive mechanisms that exist today are inadequate. Satellite-based defenses are also inadequate and will be mentioned later. It is only logical and basic common sense to realize the next step in earth defense is not on earth, it is above it. The bottom line in defending and preserving humanity is creating the means to secure it.

Seen above are some source images of the recent one-year flight of the X-37B spacecraft. It orbited the earth and although known that it had been launched on its mission, no mention was made as to why and what it was doing up there. I will speculate, here, without going into so much detail it could lose the reader. Common sense abounds. If the military didn’t have closely-held secrets about experimentation and future implementation of plans in action, who else would know? The enemy would know that is who. Remember the old WWII (World War II) term for the Navy? ‘Loose lips sinks ships.’ It is no different today.

The X-37, loaded with gear and technology, made precise measurements of the hows and whys a space-faring fleet of craft could not only manage a space-like tour in micro-gravity environments, it could be effective at repelling atomic missile threats across the globe. Further, what better implementing of technology could help how to construct, maintain, and utilize space crafts capable of managing observation and, unfortunately, when to effectively combat aggression from rogue governments. Although, satellites, weaponized to perform the deeds have been speculated and planned for years, it has not been able to be effective to combat a missile destruction in real time, so to speak. With the human control on the ground it would be pitifully late in responding.

Perforce, please realize this. Technology is advancing so rapidly, almost no one in any military situation can keep up. That being said is applied to all organizations, globally. Conversely, also note the average implementation of up-to-date technology runs approximately thirty years behind. Are there up-to-date, exotic air and space crafts in existence, today? Common sense would dictate a certain yes, as an answer; however, I contend the numbers would be incredibly limited in scope without help from others more advanced than we are. Hmm, speculation around events occurring with possible alien contact engendered with then President Dwight D. Eisenhower comes to mind from the 1950’s. In fact, his great-granddaughter, Laura Eisenhower contends, to date, this is the case.

For the layman to understand, the transit of newer, hyper-sonic missiles takes only scant minutes to make the journey compared to older systems. Recently, Vladimir Putin of Russia proclaimed they have missiles now capable of striking anywhere, at any time. They, as he says are invincible. Now, if there are active, manned space craft in orbit with tech that can down such a missile in real-time action, would it not be preferable? This is not to say Russia would do such a thing, it is simply that it now can, according to its newly re-elected president.

Please bear in mind, recent history has shown the need not only for divisions in the military to be active as the following entities: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Now comes the time for the Space Force. Until now, both the Air Force and Navy have shared a paltry and lightly-funded attempt at a ‘Space Command’ in case of anything unusual of consequence. Nothing happened. I tried in vain to find some photos I took of the Pacific Space Command in San Diego. There is only a museum in the city, now. It is there, somewhere with the plethora of other photos, in an unfortunately not-well-done catalog. Sorry. So, after peering through thousands of photos, both in my library and online, I found very little. Here, below is some evidence of what has existed:

There was a consideration of a clear and present danger of weaponizing satellites in space. In 1983, then President Ronald Reagan called for the launching of the ‘Star Wars‘ initiative. Fortunately, there are supposedly no weaponized satellites in orbit around earth, to date. Again, to implement an effective defense from ground bases would be woefully inadequate. Therefore, nothing more than improving visual and other technical surveillance has been implemented, to date.

In 2009, there was a collision between a Russian and United States satellite and it was remarkable. Until that time, the only satellites that had ever been disabled were from impacts with space debris. Although, conspiracies and fears arose from the collision, it was determined to be accidental.

Over time in history, almost every civilization created and maintained a military form of security to protect its territories and citizens. In the beginning of human history it was with clubs and spears. So, we’d call that the army. Over time, it, too, developed.

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Military ancient warfare

If it was an island civilization or a sea-faring nation, it needed to protect its trade routes and other country interactions with a navy. When other nations tried to invade or take over the victim country a military navy was an imperative. When piracy became an issue (and to some extent, still is) a military option was the only method to remedy the situation.

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Military naval warfare

Some of the latest innovations have occurred over time. What happens next is not so much a secret. It is realistic. Period. From here, I will state, emphatically that a new branch of the government, in this case the United States government, for now must take the Space Force lead. I will always respect the ones who work to protect humanity. There is so much more to know, in the near future. I will comment at article’s end in a small summary.

Then, history unfolds. As mentioned above, the concept of a Space Force is not new. Here are a couple of examples:

Again, it is only common sense humanity would strive to reserve and protect itself. Sometimes, the need is to protect humanity from itself. The ultimate common sense comes when one understands that if some other extraterrestrial entity wanted us eliminated, it would have happened by now except for something else very important to know. There is a lot of good out there and they are already here. They always have been here, since the beginning of our own time. The benevolence of the good extraterrestrials far out ways the bad ones. Note, the common denominator in existence is a constant battle between good and evil.

In sum, let us look at the possibilities that there are secret space programs. Richard Dolan has produced some of the most convincing research in this area. Some witness interviews are rather chilling. As in the Universal Digest networks in social media, especially the latest group to arise, ‘Space Force Digest‘, subjects in ufology, extraterrestrial issues, military situations, and new planetary discoveries are being discussed. There is an incredible cross-section of administrators who have been invited to take part in the process. Conspiracies and half-baked theories with no back up support are being discouraged. This is an educational group dedicated to making the public aware of the upcoming, new Space Force from the United States. This author feels certain as it develops it will be no different than the ongoing continued multi-national space efforts in existence, now.

As stated by General Douglas MacArthur in 1955 (NY Times) and Admiral Robert E. Byrd who commanded an expedition force to Antarctica where it was claimed they encountered exotic aircraft and what they called flying saucers, extraterrestrials are out there and ultimately, the next world war will be with them. These are only two of many reports I have found. Whether, this is continued deception or more false flags is what we all want to know. Now, use common sense to see that in any case, a space force is to be here to protect humanity (even from itself). If and when we do encounter and publicly acknowledge other races of beings from elsewhere, human history alone gives prime examples of benevolent, as well as, malevolent encounters. Common sense would indicate such future encounters may not be much different. However, let us hope that it is.

Universal Digest is pleased to present this new and fresh approach to the next step in the elevating of the human condition. Our destiny is the stars. How we get there is not going to be by accident in any way, shape or form. Thank you for reading and viewing.

Written By: Ed Smith Founder-Universal Digest

PS: Am humbled to be a part of it all. Just passing by…

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The next generation of space travel will consist of the latest, heavy launch technology, the SLS (Space Launch System)!

This week’s Rocketology post is by the newest member of the SLS communications team, Beverly Perry.

When NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) first flies, it will slice through Earth’s atmosphere, unshackling itself from gravity, and soar toward the heavens in an amazing display of shock and awe. To meet the engineering challenges such an incredible endeavor presents, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center draws upon a vast and diverse array of engineering talent, expertise and enthusiasm that spans multiple disciplines and, in some cases, a generation. Or two.

Kathryn Crowe is a twenty-something aerospace engineer who tweets from her smartphone and calls herself a “purveyor of the future.” Hugh Brady, on the other hand, began his career at Marshall during the days of punch cards and gargantuan room-sized IBM mainframes with an entire 16 kilobytes (!) of memory.

Kathryn Crowe and Hugh Brady

While they’ve had very different experiences, Kathryn Crowe and Hugh Brady share a common excitement for their work on SLS.

But if you think these two don’t have much common ground on which to build a strong working foundation, well, think again. Although the two aerospace engineers may be separated by a couple generations, they speak of each other with mutual admiration, respect and enthusiasm. And like any relationship built on a solid foundation, there’s room for fun, too.

Even though Brady’s career spans 50-plus years at NASA, he’s anything but jaded, to hear Crowe tell it. “Hugh still seems to keep that original sense of excitement. I figure if he thinks I’m doing okay, then I must be doing okay since he’s seen almost our entire history as an agency. It’s nice to have him to help keep me straight,” says Crowe, who recently received NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Trailblazer Award, which recognizes those in the early stages of their career who demonstrate creative, innovative thinking in support of human spaceflight. “And, he always tries to bring a sense of humor to everything he does.”

“I’ve enjoyed being mentored by Kathryn,” jokes the seventy-something Brady, who admits to failing retirement (twice, so far) because he loves the space program and can’t stay away. (Also, he said, because he doesn’t care for television. But mostly it’s because he loves space exploration and working with young, talented engineers.)

Crowe and Brady have worked together evaluating design options and deciding on solutions to make the second configuration of SLS as flexible and adaptable as possible. This upgraded configuration – known as Block 1B – adds a more-powerful upper stage and will stand taller than the Saturn V. It could fly as early as the second launch of SLS, which will be the first crewed mission to venture into lunar orbit since Apollo. Block 1B also presents the opportunity to fly a co-manifested payload, or additional large payload in addition to the Orion crew capsule.

Illustration showing the Block 1B configuration of the rocket and 8.4 and 10 meter payload fairing options

The addition of an Exploration Upper Stage to SLS will make the next generation rocket more powerful and open up new mission possibilities.

For Crowe, a self-described “shuttle baby,” working on a future configuration of SLS means the chance to look at the big picture. “I like to have a global view on things. For this particular rocket, we’ve made it as flexible as we can. We can complete missions that we don’t even know the requirements for yet!”

For Brady, “Things have a tendency to repeat.” While technology and solutions continue to improve, some of the challenges of spaceflight will always remain the same. When it comes to wrestling with the challenges of a co-manifested payload, Brady draws on his experience, but focuses on solutions that are tailored for SLS. It’s bringing lessons from the past into the present in order to find the best solution for future missions. “It’s drawing on what we’ve learned from the past but not necessarily repeating the past. We want the best solution for this vehicle,” he emphasizes.

Crowe says the experience and knowledge Brady brought to the table made all the difference when studying options for the next generation SLS vehicle. “Hugh would say, ‘I think we worked on this particular technical problem when we were initially flying.’ He could draw parallels so we didn’t reinvent the wheel,” Crowe says. Since then, Brady has become something of a mentor to Crowe and other younger team members.

“When you put that kind of technical information on the table it gives people better information – information that’s based on prior experience,” Brady says. “We may not pick the same solution, because technology changes over time, but we will have more and better information to use when making decisions.”

“I think that having that kind of precedent to build upon it really is a beautiful thing,” Crowe says.

For his part, Brady says he feels a “comfort” level in passing the United States’ launch vehicle capabilities on to the next generation of engineers and other supporting personnel. “One of the things I find very exciting is to look around and see the young talent around the center with their energy and enthusiasm. I feel good thinking about when I do hang it up – again – that they will carry on and even do more than we did,” he says.

When you ask Crowe if humans will get to Mars, she says, “For sure I think within my lifetime I will see humans on Mars. I think more than ever right now is the right time to return to human spaceflight. We have the right skills and expertise. And when we successfully complete our mission and show that sort of hope to people again, that’s going to be equally as important as technological benefits.”

“That’s the objective,” Brady says. “I can’t wait until we fly again. It’s a tremendous feeling! It’s exhilarating! It’s time.”

The next generation of space travel mechanisms will truly by exciting! Please enjoy the following short video animation of such a launch:

UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for some of NASA’s projects and work. This article and some others were written by NASA and are mostly unedited. We do not claim credit, we simply want to make them more available to the general public.

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New Horizons On Pluto

New Horizons has reached the dwarf planet, Pluto and has sent back a library of digital photographic data that will take months to process!

Please view some of the pictures, as well as, some informational pictures and renderings regarding the solar system’s outermost ‘planet’:

NASA has provided a full coverage of the July 14, 2015 of New Horizons space probe flyby of Pluto. In recent weeks, we have been informed of the incredible progress and now the success of the mission was sealed today when NASA scientists verified that the New Horizons probe had survived the passing by of Pluto and is now continuing further outward from our solar system.

Please click on the following link to the NASA website to view and enjoy related videos and updates to not only the successful nine-year mission covering over three billion miles since its launch from earth on January 19, 2006:


What will the New Horizons space probe find next? Will there be new, amazing discoveries to be found as the probe approaches the Kuiper Belt? As noted by mission scientist, John Spencer, there is no evidence of impact craters and the icy mountains discovered on the surface rival the size of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Further, methane has been detected on the surface by New Horizon’s atmospheric sensors. Also, Hydra, Pluto’s smallest ‘moon’ has been estimated to not be more than 43 by 33 kilometers in size.

Who discovered Pluto, originally? It was Tombaugh Regio in 1930. Now, seriously, how silly must one be to think these advances in exploration would be a passing whim? Since 1930, only 85 years have passed, which was almost directly in between the world’s most devastating wars in history. 

What will be the next major accomplishment of NASA’s well-planned and researched unmanned and manned space program?



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