Friday, June 3, 2011

Expedition 28: View from the Cupola

Astronaut Ronald Garan at the entrance to the Cupola.

What's the largest window ever used in space? That would be the Cupola on the International Space Station. Built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and installed on the ISS during mission STS130 in 2010. The purpose of the cupola was to give a fantastic viewing area for the operation of the robotic CanadArm-2, operations outside the ISS, docking of visiting spacecraft, and of course a magnificent view of the Earth, the stars and the universe.

View of Docked Progress, and at end of structure, the ATV cargo ship. To the left is the Rassvet science module. on the bottom from left to center is the Zarya, followed by Zvesda .

During the recent mission STS134, astronaut Ron Garan got some help making a 360 degree pan through the many windows of the cupola.

2nd Window. Leonardo module. Much of the station is hidden behind the foreground structure.

3rd window. Destiny, harmony and Kibo modules. The Endeavour is docked to the Harmony Node 2 module.

4th. End of Japanese Kibo module with the experiment "porch."

5th. Looking along the length of the Truss segments to the solar panels.

Aaaaand... we're back where we started.

One more module remains to be attached to the ISS, and that is the Russian Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module. It is scheduled to be launched from Kazakhstan in 2012.

Now look up.... Wow!

Endeavour is so big you have to look through the top window to see the engines and stabilizer.

No comments: