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International Space Station snapped soaring over earth

The International Space Station has been photographed soaring over England by cameraman Peter Rossiter.

Stargazers in the UK have been glued to the skies this winter to see the ISS orbiting above.

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Cameraman @peter_rossiter shot the International Space Station #ISS last night. Did you snap this or the eclipse? http://t.co/ECQN4NakZO

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With clear skies the best times to see the man-made object should be between 9.04pm and 10.40pm.

Read more on space and the International Space Station

Computer breakdown may force space walk

Astronaut James H. Newman waves during a spacewalk. Credit: Reuters

A computer breakdown at the International Space Station may require a spacewalk by astronauts.

Nasa said a back-up computer on the outside of the orbiting lab was not responding to commands.

The main computer, called an MDM or multiplexer-demultiplexer, is working and the six-man crew is in no danger. But the computers control some robotic functions that would be needed for next week's planned visit by a private SpaceX supply ship.

Mission Control will decide shortly as to whether the computer can be repaired or must be replaced.

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First selfie posted from International Space Station

An American astronaut has posted an 'out of this world' selfie from the International Space Station (ISS).

Astronaut Steven R Swanson posted this extra-terrestrial snap on Instagram. Credit: Instagram

Steven R Swanson's photo is reportedly the first time someone has uploaded a photo to Instagram from outside the Earth's atmosphere.

The image was uploaded to the ISS instagram account yesterday with the message 'Back on ISS, life is good'.

Read: Astronaut records first ever music video in space

International Space Station crew return to earth

The three member Expedition 38 crew rests outside after landing in the snowy steppe of Kazakhstan. Credit: Nasa TV

A capsule carrying a US-Russian crew back to Earth after nearly six months on the International Space Station has landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Nasa said that the Soyuz capsule carrying American Mike Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy touched down as scheduled, south east of the town of Dzhezkazgan. They spent 166 days in orbit on the space station.

Spacewalks ordered to fix space station cooling system

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will begin a series of spacewalks this weekend to repair the orbital outpost's cooling system, NASA has announced.

Astronauts aboard the ISS will begin a series of spacewalks this weekend to repair the orbital outpost's cooling system Credit: NASA

One of the station's two ammonia cooling systems shut down last Wednesday, forcing astronauts to power down unnecessary equipment and suspending some of the laboratory's science experiments. The six-member crew was not in any danger, NASA said.

The US space agency has decided to have two astronauts aboard the station replace an apparently faulty valve inside a pump outside the station with a spare.

Three spacewalks are planned to complete the work, the first of which is scheduled for Saturday by station flight engineers Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins. Two more spacewalks are targeted for December 23 and the last on Christmas Day.

The walks will delay a cargo resupply flight until January.

Read: NASA says ISS crew safe despite cooling system fault

NASA: ISS crew safe despite cooling system fault

NASA has said its crew members on board the International Space Station are not in any danger following a fault with one of the station's cooling systems.

An artist's impression of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Ground crews are continuing to investigate the fault.

A NASA spokesman said: "At no time was the crew or the station itself in any danger, but the ground teams did work to move certain electrical systems over to the second loop.

"Some non-critical systems have been powered down inside the Harmony node, the Kibo laboratory and the Columbus laboratory while the teams work to figure out what caused the valve to not function correctly and how to fix it.

"The crew is safe and preparing to begin a normal sleep shift while experts on the ground collect more data and consider what troubleshooting activities may be necessary."

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NASA: Urgent but not emergency situation on board ISS

There is an urgent but not an emergency situation on board the International Space Station (ISS) that may require a space walk repair, NASA has told NBC News.

Earlier today one of two cooling loops on the ISS stopped working, which engineers believe was caused by a problem with a flow-control valve.

They are currently re-routing the space station's cooling systems onto the working loop, which means prioritising life control system, science experiments and electrical systems, NASA said.

Should an urgent space walk repair be required, it will take place in the next 24-48 hours.

There are currently three Russian, two American and one Japanese astronauts on board the ISS.

Sochi Olympic torch blasts off into space

The Sochi Olympic torch has successfully blasted off into space on board a Soyuz rocket, ready to take its first space walk on the International Space Station.

Soyuz spacecraft, with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games logo, blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Russia.
Soyuz spacecraft, with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games logo, blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, Russia. Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

For safety reasons the torch will not be lit during the launch, but once on board the space station Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky are planning to take it outside the airlock, in what they described as a "spectacular" showcase for the Winter Games.

The Olympic torch has gone into space twice before, in 1996 and 2000, but it has never been taken on a space walk.

Cygnus spacecraft grabbed by robotic arm

NASA has released footage of a cargo ship being grabbed by the International Space Station.

New unmanned commercial cargo ship Cygnus was grabbed by a robotic arm operated by astronauts.

Although it brings more than half a ton of meals for astronauts onboard, Cygnus is on a demonstration mission to prove its technology..

Read: Spacecraft arrives at International Space Station

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