Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Space Science Hardware

International Space Station Cupola Video Released 70

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

International Space Station Cupola Video Released

Comments Filter:
  • by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noitarutcan>> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:08PM (#31049444) Journal

    ... one cupola?

    • Yes, but with seven windows. And I didn't see curtains .....

    • Two astronauts in, three astronauts out???

    • Launch Cancelled. (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "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.

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:08PM (#31049446) Homepage Journal

    and that looks like it delivers. Interesting idea to forge the frame from a single piece of aluminum... definitely saved some weight on a bunch more seals...

  • Market (Score:4, Funny)

    by NonSequor ( 230139 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:19PM (#31049496) Journal

    This is going to do wonders for their resale value when the market turns around.

  • by portforward ( 313061 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:26PM (#31049536)

    but I know it my heart it should be "Colbert."

    • but I know it my heart it should be "Colbert."

      I would vote for "Buzz" but I guess people would feel strange saying "Lets meet in Buzz", etc.

    • Bah. You are too modest.
      I say: Only they call it Tranquility. ^^
      The rest of the world won’t even/ever know what that’s supposed to be.;)

      If I ever meet a NASA/ESA/whatever employee/astronaut, I will annoy the hell out of him, by answering to a “blablabla... Tranquility ...blablabla” statement with “What?... Aaahh, you mean the Colbert module!”! :D

    • by Erbo ( 384 )
      I voted for "Serenity." 'Cos you can't take the sky from me.

      But "Tranquility" is also good. Not only is it a reference to the first moon landing, but "Tranquility" is also the name of EVE Online's primary server cluster. And the view from that cupola would leave a Gallente sighing with contentment, an Amarr reverently praying, and a Minmatar rejoicing in the freedom. (The Caldari would probably be too busy fretting about how much it all cost...)

      • by Anonymous Coward
        what the hell are you talking about? get out of your basement much?
      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Okay, so "Tranquility" is out of the running.

        Do we have some other names lined up that DON'T have dozens of sci-fi references linked to them?

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:34PM (#31049566)
    I think it was a partnership between France and Ford. I could be wrong.
  • Designed for what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shag ( 3737 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:34PM (#31049570)

    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.

    • by tsotha ( 720379 )
      Thanks for pointing that out. Based on the summary, my first reaction to the story was "I paid what to give seven guys a nice view?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rexdude ( 747457 )

      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 byrdfl3w ( 1193387 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:46PM (#31049620) Journal
    they're gonna put a cupola new bits on the ISS..
  • I'm building a coffee table in my garage. NASA probably wouldn't pass my engineering for space use :(

  • Imagine the view (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kerskine ( 46804 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:08PM (#31049944) Homepage Journal

    What I would give to spend 8 hours in that cupola

    • What I would give, to spend 8 hours with (first) a really great meal and (then) a naked and willing $favoriteHotGirl in that Cupola.

      And how I wish that I would have the skill to make HER want to give (whatever she would give) to do this with me. :D

  • Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:17PM (#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]

    • American components, Russian components... all made in Taiwan!

      Lev Andropov.

    • Personally, I am in hopes that we will restore the CAM. AMS could have occurred on the planet, but ISS is also nice. BUT, CAM can ONLY happen in micro grav. That is the one thing that ISS can really deliver; tell us how we will do in space, on the moon, or on mars. But, W killed it. Hopefully, Bolden has enough brains to make that a top priority once he has sorted through the coming nightmare over the budget.
      • by khallow ( 566160 )
        CAM requires lower gravity than the minimum range it is to test, it doesn't require the microgravity environment present on the ISS. For example, you could test Mars level gravity on the Moon or Mars and lunar level gravity on Ceres even though both places have significant gravity acceleration four or more orders of magnitude greater than a microgravity environment.
        • The real question is not just how we will do on these planets, but what is the minimum to keep us from having longterm damage. As I wrote to fleaplus, it is possible that 1/10 G (less than mars or moon, but more than ceres) would be enough to keep our bones and muscles in OK shape. If so, then a craft is easy to design. In the end, it does not matter. Far far cheaper to put a CAM on the ISS, than the other locations.
          • by khallow ( 566160 )

            Far far cheaper to put a CAM on the ISS, than the other locations.

            I agree. I was just saying the microgravity environment isn't needed unless you are doing experiments with very low gravity, say one or two orders of magnitude above the microgravity environment.\

      • by FleaPlus ( 6935 )

        I suspect you probably already know about this, but it looks like CAM is one of the things the newly-announced initiative for NASA is looking to bring back:

        http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_nasa/ [whitehouse.gov]

        $183 million to extend operations of the ISS past its previously planned retirement date of 2016. NASA will deploy new research facilities to conduct scientific research and test technologies in space. New capabilities could include a centrifuge to support research into human physiology, inflatable space habitats, and a program to continuously upgrade Space Station capabilities.

        • I missed that. THANK YOU!!!!!! That is damn good news. We really need to know how the body will react on these various gravities. Likewise, it would be nice to know if there is a minimal amount of gravity that will keep the body from the degradation. Maybe something as simple as 1/10G would cut it, which would make it pretty damn simple to design that in a Mars bound craft.
  • www.esa.int (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:22PM (#31050018) Journal

    I like the use of the .int top-level-domain.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Quick! Somebody snatch short.int, long.int, and long.long.int.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I completely agree with you, it's very cool in a Joe-90, Thunderbirds kind of way. Then again, what else could we use for an international organisation with 18 member states? .org possibly, but it's a bit bland.

      (Yes, I work for ESA and very much like my @esa.int mail address :-)

  • I thought that the cupola was the commanders turret on top of a tank, usually mounting a heavy machine gun.

    • I thought that the cupola was the commanders turret on top of a tank, usually mounting a heavy machine gun.

      It is.

      Dig foxholes. Duck and cover.

      Is this your leader?

    • What else do you expect us to use to fend off the inevitable alien invasion?
  • "Video animation" ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by rpetre ( 818018 )
    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 peter303 ( 12292 ) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:14PM (#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.
    • I was under impression that we already paid them to bring up the number of launches. In particular, I thought that we paid them several years ago to keep the levels up for several years.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller