Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Stationed in the Stars," originally broadcast on April 25, 2000. The broadcast explores America's manned
space program and the crisis caused by Russia's delay in delivering the
critical third piece of the International Space Station. Here's what you'll find online:
- Blueprint for a Space Station
In this eye-catching sequence of animations and digital drawings, learn about key components of the ISS, from the Canadian-built robotic arm (which will be able to "walk" around the station) to the Japanese Experiment Module with its "back porch" (which will allow astronauts to conduct experiments in the vacuum of space).
- Astronauts in Hard Hats (Video)
Shuttle astronauts tasked with building the ISS talk about the simple things of space construction—such as how to respond to a leak in your spacesuit, or how to ensure you don't accidentally float away while "translating" (spacewalking).
- Inspired by Science Fiction
Illustrated with early designs by SF artists of the 1950s, this article by English professor and science-fiction essayist Gary Westfahl looks at what Westfahl calls the "conversation" that took place between SF creators and top rocket scientists such as Wernher von Braun.
- Free-Falling (Hot Science)
When you're in orbit around Earth in a space station or some other spacecraft, you float around because you've escaped Earth's gravity, right? Wrong! The force of gravity for something in low Earth orbit is virtually the same as it is at ground level. So why do you feel weightless? Find out why here.
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