Inside, the International Space Station a host of experiments are underway.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit is no stranger to difficult tasks. He's two months into a six-month assignment aboard the space station.
Serious science projects consume most of their time. They look boring, Pettit says, and they may not yield results or benefits for five, 10 or 15 years.
The space station crew keeps in touch with mission control, but they also get to check in with their families so they stay connected with earth.
"We can talk with our families; we can make our phone calls, and we even have video contact and see the families once a week so I don't feel isolated at all," European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers said.
This week, Earthlings get a chance to see the space station while it's in low orbit, 220 miles overhead. It'll look like a bright star, Tuesday and Thursday shortly after nightfall.