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Space Science Hardware

International Space Station Cupola Video Released 70

Posted by kdawson
from the next-to-the-gazebo dept.
quaith writes "With the Space Shuttle Endeavour scheduled to launch at 4:39 AM EST on Sunday for a trip to the International Space Station, the European Space Agency has released a video that shows how the modules it's carrying — Node-3 ('Tranquility') and Cupola — are going to get attached. Node-3 is a connecting module. Cupola has six trapezoidal windows and circular roof designed to provide a unique vantage-point for observing Earth. The video animations show how the station's robotic arm will be used initially to put the modules in place as a single unit, and then to detach Cupola from the end of Node-3 and reattach it on the Earth-facing side. With this addition, the ISS will start to look like something that Jules Verne would have wanted to visit."
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International Space Station Cupola Video Released

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  • Designed for what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shag (3737) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @08:34PM (#31049570) Homepage

    Cupola has six trapezoidal windows and circular roof designed to provide a unique vantage-point for observing Earth.

    I think you meant to say "designed for monitoring dockings, robotic-arm operations and spacewalks."

    But I'm sure the residents of the station will be begging command to let them open the aluminum shutters that protect those windows from space junk and meteorites, since the windows coincidentally would provide a unique vantage-point for observing Earth and space, too. :)

    As well as anything else that might be outside... glass elevators, vermicious knids, etc.

  • Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @10:17PM (#31049994) Journal

    Sure, the international cooperation on the ISS was done pretty suboptimally (e.g. over-reliance on the delay-prone and costly Space Shuttle), but there's still something really inspirational about a European-built observatory module being launched on an American rocket, so that astronauts can (among other things) effectively control a Canada-built robotic construction arm, powered by US and Russian solar panels. Also, the robotic Canadarm and Cupola will be used to install the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer [wikipedia.org] in a few months, one of the space station's most promising scientific instruments.

    Some more info on the Cupola over at wiki (of course): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupola_(ISS) [wikipedia.org]

  • Launch Cancelled. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 07, 2010 @04:41AM (#31051236)

    "No-go" for Endeavour's Launch
    Sun, 07 Feb 2010 04:30:56 AM EST

    Space shuttle Endeavour's launch attempt has been scrubbed due to a low cloud ceiling over Kennedy Space Center.

    Managers initially plan for a 24-hour turnaround, but will evaluate tomorrow's weather before making a final decision. Next possible launch attempt is Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.

  • Re:www.esa.int (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 07, 2010 @04:49AM (#31051270)

    It's a shame they're only avaiable for intergovernmental organizations [iana.org]. Really :-( .

  • by sznupi (719324) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @05:13AM (#31051352) Homepage

    Exercise equipment is essential for keeping the crew healthy; Cupola is a useful observation deck for EVA and Canadarm activities as well as basic Earth observation - that it also provides a very nice view is a good thing, if only because of possible benefits in keeping the crew functioning nicely, all around.

    Speaking of hauling equipment - the view of Shuttle on the launchpad with cargo visible was really depressing; so much barely needed structure, so much waste in launched mass...

  • "Video animation" ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by rpetre (818018) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @05:36AM (#31051436)
    Maybe it's because I'm not a native English speaker, but this sounds very much like redundancy (I think the correct grammatical term is "tautology"), probably induced by some so-called SEO expert: "screw common sense, just toss in the keyword 'video' as much as possible".
  • by Rexdude (747457) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @05:52AM (#31051478)

    As well as anything else that might be outside... glass elevators, vermicious knids, etc.

    For those who didn't know, that's a Roald Dahl reference, from 'Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator'

  • by peter303 (12292) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @12:14PM (#31053106)
    At its maximum capacity the Soyuz could supply 18 astronauts a year to the space station via six annual launches. But Soyuz has never operated at that high capacity. Four launches would be considered more likely. The US quota is 2 of the 6 ISS astronauts, Russia another two, and the remaining two more for Japan, ESA, and Canada. More likely there will be 4-5 at a time and four launched, hence the four US astronaut estimate. Contrast this to the 25-30 in recent years to build the ISS.

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