Saturday, April 3, 2010

Postcards From the Frontier

"Shutterbug Astronauts Smash Space Photography Record" (April 2, 2010)

"Astronauts - like many people - just can't get enough photos of Earth from space. But one dedicated space station crew has taken space photography to next level after shattering the all-time record for the most pictures taken during a single spaceflight.

"The recent Expedition 22 crew of the International Space Station snapped 100,000 images of space and the Earth from above over a roughly six-month period. The mission ended earlier this month with a snowy landing in Kazakhstan, with a new crew blasting off today for the orbiting laboratory.

"Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams of NASA, along with flight engineers Max Suraev and Oleg Kotov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Timothy (T.J.) Creamer of NASA, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, made up the mission crew.

"The photo-happy spaceflyers have brought the total number of pictures taken from the space station to a grand sum of almost 639,000 images...."

That's a whole lot of photos.

Expedition 22 broke Jeffrey William's old record for number of photos taken while he was working on the International Space Station. The article quotes a Twitter entry dated 1:18 AM Mar 13th (2010): "This week we broke my old Exp 13 record for number of Earth photos. Later, after landing and recovery, I will post some of best." On Twitter, Jeff Williams is astro_jeff.

I don't know if these are some of the "best" that Mr. Williams mentioned: but they're pretty good.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
That's the Houston area, seen at night from orbit.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
'Kids, don't try this at home.' Unless home is in free fall. The way we're going, another few generations, and some folks may be living in low Earth orbit. My guess is that they'll spin their habitat, though: we're just not designed to operate without gravity or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

That's Jeff Williams, by the way, surrounded by cameras and equipment.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
Soichi Noguchi, Japan, in the International Space Station's new cupola.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
Sunrise at the space station. This sort of thing was a dream when I was growing up. It's nice to see postcards from the frontier.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
It may look cramped - but that cupola is a huge step up from the sort of porthole arrangement we've had on spacecraft up until now. With the exception of the Shuttle, now that I think of it.

(NASA, via, used w/o permission)
'Having a great time, wish you were here?' These folks had their picture taken on February 18, 2010. Their feet are in the new cupola.

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