WASHINGTON, D.C. -- I learned a great many interesting things at a recent breakfast event with NASA astronauts hosted by the National Press Club. Among them, the fact that Colonel Terry Virts's most terrifying moment in space came when he had to give fellow astronaut Captain Samantha Cristoforetti a haircut. (Virts knew Cristoforetti's Italian countrymen, and women, would be sitting in judgment.)
And, more practically, that we have two options for getting to Mars, as explained by Captain Mark Kelly: the slow way, which involves chemical propulsion, or the fast way, which involves electric propulsion, but would also require a nuclear reactor.
Beyond the facts and anecdotes, however, there were also some spectacular photo opportunities, largely thanks to the new NASA Ultra HD channel -- powered by Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) -- now in the works. (See NASA UHD Channel Launches November 1.)
Well, the UHD channel and the live link-up with astronaut Captain Scott Kelly on the International Space Station. Scott Kelly is now halfway through his one-year stint on the ISS, and was calling in to talk to his twin brother Mark Kelly here on the ground. The two are part of a radical twin study that will measure the effects of living in space on a human body, and determine what differences can be observed in two people with the same DNA who have spent very different amounts of time in space.
Now, click through for your photographic tour of the breakfast event. It's full of astronauts, stunning space photography and shots of life aboard the ISS.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading