Horizons mission time-lapse – from Alaska to the Andes

Ever wondered what it feels like to fly from Alaska to the Andes in 260 seconds? ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this timelapse footage of Alaska, the USA and South America while orbiting Earth on board the International Space Station.

This timelapse is made up of 6,375 images shown 12.5 times faster than actual speed. Music is Our Oasis by Miriam Speyer, sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – Australia and New Zealand

Māori, as native New Zealanders, refer to their islands as “Aotearoa” or “the land of the long white cloud”. This timelapse from ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst shows Australia and New Zealand shrouded in cloud from the unique viewpoint of the International Space Station.

Comprised of 5,175 photos, this timelapse is 12.5 times faster than actual speed and is set to the soundtrack “Try or Die” sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – an orbital sunrise

Orbiting Earth once every 90 minutes, the International Space Station soars into 16 sunrises and sunsets every single day. Many of these sunrises occur while the crew is working or sleeping, but ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this stunning timelapse of a sunrise to share with us here on Earth.

These photos were taken by Alexander at an interval of two per second and the video has been edited at 25 frames per second.

Music: First Survivors 4 by Los Angeles-based British composer, Luke Richards. Sourced from Audio Network Limited.

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Horizons science – airway monitoring

In space, there is no such thing as waiting for the dust to settle. Rather than drifting to the ground, dust particles float about continuously and can irritate eyes and lungs.

By recording how much nitrogen oxide he exhales in space as part of the Airway Monitoring experiment, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is helping researchers understand how to monitor, diagnose and treat lung conditions like asthma here on Earth.

The findings of this monitoring will also be crucial to exploring the Moon and even Mars – where dust is considered even more toxic and must be carefully managed for astronauts’ health.

The Airways Monitoring experiment has been underway since 2015. Later in the Horizons mission Alexander will repeat the experiment in the reduced pressure of the airlock.

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Horizons science – perceiving time in space

It often seems like the weekend is over in a heartbeat, while a working week can last forever. ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst explains how he is working with researchers to understand factors influencing time perception on board the International Space Station to help us up in space and on Earth.

As part of the Time experiment, Alexander wears a headset to block out any external visual cues and performs a series of computer prompted tasks designed to test his time perception. These include reproducing the length of a given event, estimating the amount of time elapsed, reacting to stimuli and judging the length of a minute. These results are compared to tests conducted on ground, as researchers gain a clearer picture of how and why perception is affected.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – from USA to Africa

14 000 kilometres in under 4 minutes!

Join ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst for a quick flight from the USA to Africa aboard the International Space Station in this time-lapse filmed 12.5 times faster than actual speed.

Alexander is living and working on board the International Space Station for six months from June to December 2018.

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Horizons science – installing ICE Cubes

The International Commercial Experiments service – ICE Cubes for short – facility provides commercial access to microgravity offering faster, easier and more affordable access to research in space.
ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst installed the first experiment cubes in the facility that is housed in Europe’s research laboratory Columbus, part of the International Space Station.
The International Space University is the first customer to run experiments in ICE Cubes. The plug-and-play cubes need only to be slotted into the facility and the data collection can begin.
The first cube houses an experiment that is continuing research on methane-producing microorganisms to see how they survive in space conditions. In the longer term, the knowledge gained could lead to these microorganisms for bio-mining of asteroids to produce methane to fuel future space missions.
The second International Space University experiment is an interactive art installation that brings space to Earth and back again, highlighting the versatility of the ICE Cubes facility. The cube contains a kaleidoscope linked to a ground installation that is activated by the pulse of participants. The images are then beamed down to the installation on Earth, thanks to ICE Cubes’ unique 24-hour accessibility.
Researchers can access the data from their payloads at any time via a dedicated mission control centre at Space Applications Services’ premises in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe, Belgium. Clients can connect to their experiment from their own location over internet to read the data and even send commands directly.
For more information on ICE Cubes, visit http://www.icecubesservice.com/ to see how you can fly your experiment.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – Lightning flashes and aurora

Lights, camera, action!

The lightning captured in this time-lapse taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from aboard the International Space Station is reminiscent of camera flashes in the night.

Taking a tour over cities and oceans as the Space Station orbits planet Earth, the clip ends with a view of the aurora. It comprises 1,675 images taken at a rate of two per second.

Alexander often sets cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals while he carries out scientific experiments and work on board the Space Station. Horizons is his second mission and he will fulfil the role of Station commander in early October.

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Horizons mission time-lapse – The dancing aurora

Beautiful from Earth, incredible from space.
ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this time-lapse of an aurora just 10 days into his Horizons mission aboard the International Space Station.

Shot during one of the Space Station’s 16 daily orbits, this 38 second time-lapse comprises 950 images taken at an interval of .5 seconds.

Alexander will be living and working on board the International Space Station for six months from June to December 2018.

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Horizons mission – Getting a good GRASP on gravity

Unbound by a traditional up or down, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is getting a handle on how microgravity affects our ability to grab and manipulate objects in space. It’s all part of the French Gravitational References for Sensimotor Performance: Reaching and Grasping experiment (or GRASP) designed to give researchers a better understanding of how our brains draw information from different sources – like sight, sound, and most importantly in this case, gravity – to aid hand-eye coordination.

This investigation will help researchers better treat disorders relating to vertigo and dizziness, balance, spatial orientation and other aspects of the vestibular system here on Earth. It will also be helpful in guiding astronauts during spacewalks and developing the most effective ways of controlling robots remotely. This is not only applicable to astronauts exploring new solar landscapes, but also surgeons who may need to operate on patients remotely and other professionals who need to operate equipment from afar.

While our astronauts are pretty quick, in reality, GRASP experiment sessions aren’t quite as speedy as what you see here. In fact, 20 minutes of real-time footage has been condensed to create this shortened clip.

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