On his 4th trip to space, he'll be doing something no American has ever done before.

Astronaut Scott Kelly gives us a tour of his rocket. He also shows us how to use a fancy stick to push the buttons.

On March 27, 2015, Scott Kelly will be leaving Earth for space.

He'll be doing something no American has ever done before: living in space for almost a full year.


He'll be joined by Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.

They're going to be running experiments that will help NASA—and, therefore, humankind—figure out how we might make it to Mars.


The rocket taking them to the space station isn't too roomy.

I can just see the Craigslist post now: "Cozy one-bedroom, all new appliances, great for sharing. One-year lease required."

The rocket is actually called a Soyuz capsule.

And, it's not all fun and astronaut ice cream in the Soyuz capsule.


For example, because the buttons are so far out of reach during blastoff, a lot of astronauts use a high-tech device to push them.

That high tech device is called a stick. Not even a space stick. Just a stick.

Unbelievable, but true. Unless Scott is playing one last Earth prank on us?

And in that tiny spacecraft, with their "fancy" stick, they fly in circles, not straight lines, to get to the space station.

Maybe, like me, you once imagined that the rocket zooms straight up off the ground and just goes direct as an arrow to the space station?

Nope. It's actually a lot more like looking for parking downtown in a busy city: You circle and circle, making wider and wider loops.

Astronauts literally make a U-turn in the middle of space, then slam on the brakes, and try to glide gently into contact with the space station.

It's called "orbital mechanics," baby.

Then, they have to park their spaceship on another moving spaceship.

At 17,000 miles an hour. No big deal.

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They're doing this so that one day we'll get to live on Mars.

"You know NASA's ultimate goal is one day to put people on Mars, so there's a lot we still need to learn about that. Some of it has to do with, you know, how the space environment affects the human body over long periods of time, particularly with regards to bone loss, muscle loss, effects of radiation on our genetics, our vision. We have problems with vision with crew members during long duration space flight. Our immune system, vestibular system. So that's kind of the human part of it, and there's also the hardware part of it, you know, traveling that far away from Earth represents a challenge with regards to how we design our life support systems, how we produce oxygen, produce water, and you know, those kinds of things." — Scott Kelly

That's what makes a year in space worth missing 365 hot showers, 52 pancake breakfasts, and probably the next season of "House of Cards."

Scott's been making longer and longer voyages in space, to practice and research what spending extended time in space is like. (Mars is real far away!)


On prior missions, he's already spent almost 200 days in space. But every day he spends up there, learning and collecting data, is one day closer to the day we land on Mars.

Scott recently gave a tour of his model rocket to a YouTuber named Destin and showed him about all the incredibly challenging things astronauts do while terrifyingly hurtling through space. You can see the whole shebang in the video below. (They also talk about underwear.)

Here's wishing Scott and his team a safe, scientifically-fruitful, and wondrous year in space!

Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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