Video: A Week In The Life Of The International Space Station

The International Space Station is one of the wonders of modern technology. A series of interconnected orbital modules are home to a rotating crew of astronauts and cosmonauts plus a host of ongoing experiments. While the ISS only gets into the news every now and then, interesting things are happening there daily.

Right now three astronauts – two American and one Canadian – are on duty up there along with three cosmonauts from Russia. This video is a weekly update showing what they did last week. The main work has been preparing for the arrival of the Dragon spacecraft, which will bring supplies and take some completed experiments and waste back to Earth.

Besides that, the crew has been conducting experiments, doing maintenance work on their spacesuits, troubleshooting a partial communications failure, training with the robotic arm, and answering questions from the public back on Earth.

The three astronauts even got a break for Presidents Day. I didn’t know they got days off up there. I wonder what they do? Stare out the window a lot, I bet.

The weekly update gets uploaded every Friday and there are daily updates throughout the week. You can followed them on the ISS website.

For more about this giant orbital laboratory take this video tour of the International Space Station.

Jay-Z and Coldplay ring in the New Year at Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino

There’s no denying that Las Vegas knows how to throw one rockin party, but when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Las Vegas hotels work to outdo each other. Newcomer on the block Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino might just take this year’s prize.

The hotel, set to open December 15, will host a New Year’s Eve celebration with Jay-Z and Coldplay expected to perform. The hotel is, of course, offering a sweet package to ring in 2011 at the new complex. Rumor has it only a few packages are left so get ’em while they’re hot:

· A three-night stay in a city room or terrace studio · Access to the Marquee nightclub and Dayclub preview party · Dinner for two on New Year’s Eve at the restaurant of your choice · New Year’s Day brunch at Wicked Spoon (the hotel’s buffet joint) · Two non-transferable tickets to the live concert featuring Jay-Z & Coldplay.

The total package cost is $5,600 and in case you want to think before buying, know that full payment is expected at the time of booking.

New sight on the Strip: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to open mid-December

The struggling economy in Las Vegas sent tourism officials into overdrive in 2009. The results: More hotels, more casinos and more entertainment options. The opening of Las Vegas CityCenter marked the first step in the city’s attempt to drive tourism dollars — a mini-city smack in the middle of the busiest street in the desert was sure to drive a new type of Sin City crowd. As CityCenter continues to roll the dice on the opening of new restaurants, hotels and residences, other hotel companies are placing their bets that a ‘newer’ Las Vegas will boost the ailing economy.

The newest headline on the marquee: the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open mid-December.

The new casino-resort hopes to attract more visitors to Vegas with its 13 restaurants, a spa, nightclub and 150,000 square feet of meeting space. It will feature a rooftop pool deck overlooking the Strip and a 3,800-space underground parking garage. The hotel will have a total 2,995 rooms (only partially open by December) and the decor is said to be elegant and, well, cosmopolitan. Each room at the Cosmopolitan has its own terrace and, for the thrill-seeker, a 40th-floor open-air balcony overlooking the Strip. While the scene is likely breathtaking, it’s not for the faint of heart. (A steel-enforced railing bar keeps you about two feet from the terraces’ edge.)

The purpose: to drive a newer, more modern clientele to the famous Strip. The problem: the city’s declining tourism rates.

According to the Department of Transportation statistics, Las Vegas still has a lot of catching up to do. In 2009, the city’s hotel rooms garnered 22 percent less per night than in 2008 – a steal for travelers; a black hole for the books. However, the billions of dollars poured into these new hotels and resort complexes are meant to inspire a new type of traveler looking for more than $5 bets and winning slot machines.

Cosmopolitan Chief Executive Officer John Unwin, a former Caesars Palace general manager, told the Associated Press the resort’s construction is fully funded and plans are firm to have all of Cosmopolitan’s rooms open by July 2011.