ISS star trails / Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit, 2012
Beautiful long-exposure shots taken from the ISS by Don Pettit.
Also make sure you check out the rest of the stuff uploaded to Flickr by NASA_JSC_Photo, there are some amazing shots of all things space-related on there, and most are free to download at massive resolution.
Found via ISO50
Measuring the Universe / Richard Hogg, 2012
Lovely astro-physics animation from the always-brilliant Richard Hogg.
Discovery’s final flight / April 17, 2012
Yesterday Space Shuttle Discovery made its final flight, as it was transferred atop a Boeing 747 from Florida to Washington, destined to become a museum exhibit after 27 years of service and 39 missions to space. Coverage of the journey was all over the web and TV, as it made a dramatic flypast over the Washington skyline.
One of the best things that I ended up watching though, was this CBS special news report from August 1977. If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, check it out on YouTube. This ‘Approach and Landing Test’ was the first time a Space Shuttle flew on its own. Piggy-backing in the same way on a 747, the Shuttle climbed to 24,00 ft, before astronauts Fred Haise and Gordon Fullerton performed a separation and guided it to the runway for the first time.
The documentary makes for compelling watching — not least because of some beautiful 70s graphics; just check out those Polaroid and CBS logos, nice! — but because, 35 years ago, NASA and the world dreamed these vehicles would be making 100+ trips into orbit over their lifetime, making space travel a routine, cheap and frequent exercice. It’s interesting to watch, noting this sense of optimism and excitement, and to think back on what the Shuttle program did and didn’t achieve over the last 30 years.
Apollo 8 iPad wallpaper
Just a quick update – my iPad wallpaper celebrating the mission of Apollo 8 has now been updated to suit the retina display of the new iPad. That’s a massive resolution of 2048 x 2048 pixels, so go wild! Download it here, along with its iPhone counterpart.
Best of the best Shuttle footage
If you can stand the commentary of constant acronyms, this is some of the most technically and aesthetically amazing camera footage you will ever see.
Thank you ISO50 once again.
Apollo 11 / Ryan McNaught, 2012
Well done sir, well done indeed. More photos here.
Space Center / Nanoblocks
So far on this blog, 2012 seems to mainly be me geeking out over Space Shuttle related things. I do apologise.
But when they’re this cool, can you blame me? Nanoblocks is like Lego, only smaller. Really small. I just built the space shuttle kit, above, and it’s pretty fiddly stuff. Good fun for the kid/engineer in all of us.