Atlantis’ Last Voyage Marks End of an Era -But Not the End of Human Space Exploration

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Nasa astronaut Dr Michael Barratt, describes how he and his fellow astronauts felt about the view from the station's recently installed cupola, the solar system's highest crow's nest:

"If we could share only one experience from the station with everyone on Earth, it would be to spend an orbit in the cupola watching the 90-minute spectacle of the Earth going by. With the 'cathedral dome' layout of the windows, you take in the whole experience; the surface features, the horizon with the fragile appearance of the atmosphere, and the striking picture of the Earth as a planet hanging in the blackness of space.


"During the shadow pass, all this transforms into city lights and lightning, a still perceptible atmospheric band often tinted green, and stars like you have never seen them.  And the sun rising and setting is spectacular as well; just be ready to take this in quickly."

Image Top of Page: Shuttle astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson looks down from the cupola of the ISS – 'the solar system's highest crow's nest'. Credit: Nasa

The Daily Galaxy via guardian.co.uk

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