When Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov conducted the world’s first space walk in 1965, the mission nearly ended in catastrophe. After 12 minutes outside the Voskhod spacecraft, the vacuum of space had caused Leonov’s suit to inflate so much he couldn’t get through the air lock. He was forced to manually vent oxygen from inside the suit to reduce its size and get back onto the ship before the effects of decompression sickness overcame him.

State-of-the-art molecular analysis of dust samples from the International Space Station (ISS) has been employed to reveal new information about some of the potential bacterial agents present in the astronauts' space environment. The research reported presence of the opportunistic bacterial pathogens that are mostly innocuous on Earth but can lead to infections that result in inflammations or skin irritations. 

The ISS is a unique built environment, experiencing microgravity, space radiation and elevated carbon dioxide, and constant presence of humans. Understanding the nature of the communities of microbes -- the microbiome -- in the ISS is key to managing astronaut health and maintenance of ISS equipment.

According to observations from the Tihany Magnetic Observatory in Hungary, the indices used by scientists to assess the Sun's geomagnetic perturbations to the Earth are unable to detect some of these events, which could put both power supply and communication networks at risk.

The Tihany Magnetic Observatory registered a solar storm similar to the largest one ever recorded while other observatories were completely unaware of the event.

It is often said that the first full image of the “blue planet”, taken by the Apollo 17 space mission in December 1972, revealed Earth to be precious, fragile and protected only by a wafer-thin atmospheric layer. It reinforced the imperative for better stewardship of our “only home”.

But there was another way of seeing the Earth revealed by those photographs. For some the image showed the Earth as a total object, a knowable system, and validated the belief that the planet is there to be used for our own ends.

NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

The dataset shows projected changes worldwide on a regional level in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models. The high-resolution data, which can be viewed on a daily timescale at the scale of individual cities and towns, will help scientists and planners conduct climate risk assessments to better understand local and global effects of hazards, such as severe drought, floods, heat waves and losses in agriculture productivity. 

Do microbes grow differently on the International Space Station than they do on Earth? Results from the growth of microbes collected by citizen scientists as part of Project MERCCURI indicate that most behave similarly in both places - and that is a good news for space travel.

MarsPolar, a newly started international venture, is setting its sights on the Red Planet.

The project, consisting of specialists from Russia, United Arab Emirates, Poland, U.S. and Ukraine, has come up with a bold idea to establish a human settlement on Mars’ polar region, the part of the planet with abundant quantities of water ice. The targeted area could be very interesting in terms of alien life hunting as the MarsPolar team puts it: “life begins where the water exists.”

New data from the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet a week ago reveals Mercury's magnetic field is almost four billion years old. The discovery helps scientists piece together the history of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and one about which we knew very little before MESSENGER. 

NASA's MESSENGER probe left Earth in 2004, reached Mercury in 2008 and has orbited the planet since 2011, sending data back .  Researchers used data obtained by MESSENGER in the fall of 2014 and 2015 when the probe flew incredibly close to the planet's surface - at altitudes as low as 15 kilometers, and a new study detailing the planet's ancient magnetic field was published in Science Express.

On March 17th, 2013, an object the size of a boulder hit the lunar surface in Mare Imbrium and exploded in a flash of light nearly 10 times as bright as anything ever recorded before - the largest recorded explosion occurred on the surface of the moon.
The Hubble Space Telescope is almost old enough to buy its own health insurance! 

Tomorrow, April 24th, the Hubble Space Telescope will turn 25. For much of that time, it has been a few hundred miles away, providing a peek into the cosmos. It has long exceeded its mission life (good thing too, it's successor will be a decade past its original completion date and 900% over budget, if it even goes up on the latest 2018 date) but that is okay, Hubble shows no signs of letting up.