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NASA Astronauts To Open New Space Station Windows

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-blue-screens-on-those-windows dept.

NASA 79

coondoggie writes "After some fancy robotic crane work over the past couple days, NASA Endeavour astronauts are preparing for tonight's final spacewalk where they will open the windows on the space station's sweet new dome-shaped observatory. The cupola observatory module is considered the ultimate observation deck. It is attached to an Earth-facing side of the International Space Station and has seven windows — six around the sides and one on top — that can be shuttered when not in use to protect them from micrometeoroids and the harsh space environment."

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79 comments

Already opened? (5, Informative)

MilesTails (1413987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172534)

Catch up slashdot. According to this article they are already open. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8518744.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Already opened? (1)

MilesTails (1413987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172562)

Catch up slashdot. According to this article they are already open. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8518744.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Disregard this parent needs to learn to read.

Re:Already opened? (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173070)

No. You were correct. Soichi tweeted at about 7am this morning with a picture of all windows open - http://twitpic.com/13qfse [twitpic.com]

Re:Already opened? (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174778)

Is it just me, or doesn't that look like the interior of a Tie-Fighter?

Re:Already opened? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31175342)

Almost. There's no exploding X-wing in its sights and no dying pilots screaming on the intercom.

Re:Already opened? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31179486)

The second commenter on that picture says:

STAR WARS

(I full well expect Slashcode to completely mess up the Japanese.)

I'm still learning my Japanese but from what I gather the guy is saying that it looks like the cockpit of a TIE fighter, which it does.

Re:Already opened? (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173988)

If you look at the video in the article he posted, it shows the windows opening and you can see astronauts inside the station looking out.

Re:Already opened? (1)

MilesTails (1413987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174304)

Yeah that's what I original thought, but then the article says they are only preparing it. Mismatch reporting makes me a sad panda :(

"Already" as in "yesterday" (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172756)

Your link says "they prepared the module's new observation deck for its first opening". Yesterday, preparations only. Today, opened.

Floating in space (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172586)

We need a space station on the moon.

Re:Floating in space (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173190)

That's no moon...

Re:Floating in space (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173542)

Yo dawg, we heard you like space stations, so we put a space station on your space station, so you can work in space while you work in space!

already done (3, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172590)

I realized I hadn't seen any photos of the new bay so I hit Google News for a search. I know the likes of AOL and USA Today are derided for their superficial news coverage, but the first story had what I wanted: a photo of the new bay.

AOL News on Tranquility Bay Window [aolnews.com]

As it turns out, the image was taken AFTER the windows were already opened. First thought: stale stories on Slashdot, no surprise there. Second thought: where is the Emperor's chair? I know George Lucas is having fun with the design on that new bay window.

Here's a better picture (from the source) (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173162)

Here [nasa.gov] is the NASA full size photo. It's today's NASA Image of the Day. [nasa.gov]

Re:Here's a better picture (from the source) (3, Informative)

srollyson (1184197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173634)

Here [nasa.gov] is a picture of them putting it into position via robotic arm. Here's [nasa.gov] another picture of the spacewalk installation.

Might want to rethink this. (4, Funny)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172630)

Opening the windows hardly seems like an ideal thing to do. The tiltable easy clean windows may have sounded like a great idea but really aren't all that practical.

Re:Might want to rethink this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31172846)

Sure they are. Opening the windows just so happens to also clean all the ducts, AND the carpets.

It's a real labor-saving innovation!

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172888)

Hopefully they have screens to keep out the space bugs

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172902)

maybe the next experiment is to discover the properties of windex in a zero g environmeent.

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173422)

Well, sometimes you need to let a little breeze in... I mean, out.

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173666)

Base: What is the temperature inside the module?
ISS: About 290.4 degrees Kelvin.
Base: And what is the temperature outside?
ISS: About 2.7 degrees Kelvin.
Base: OK, then open the windows, and let the other 2.7 degrees in, too.

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173848)

Fact: Whenever anyone mentions "facts", you know he tries to shove his dogmas down your throat.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Might want to rethink this. (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#31189324)

It is an international space station, duh. Therefor, no tilting or sliding windows. But good hinged windows, that open to the inside.

were do we wanna be today? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31172678)

anyone?

Just letting in some fresh air? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31172826)

I don't think opening the windows on the space station is a good idea. I'm sure the station gets a little stuffy after awhile, but this is not the right way to let in some fresh air.

Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172840)

Plus, you can always use the classic line, "Hey! I can see your house from here!" Now if I could just get an attractive female to accompany to the ISS and into the cupola (without my wife finding out!)

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173052)

Don't worry about getting an attractive female...

Worry about your wife finding out you don't think she is attractive.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173154)

At this point, I'll be more than happy to take your wife up there.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173240)

The point at which that'll change is when you see his wife!

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173478)

Now if I could just get an attractive female to accompany to the ISS and into the cupola (without my wife finding out!)

Your wife isn't an attractive female? Dude, I fear your marriage won't last long. Not because she's ugly but because you're a philanderer. Nothing ruins a marriage like adultery.

I suggest you start shopping for an attorney right now, because if she sees that comment you're going to lose your house, car, kids, dog, and about everything else.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31176742)

Well, mine is attractive me. I don't particularly care what other people think.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31177580)

I think he was trying for the funny.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

drkim (1559875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196022)

...the windows of your Escalade...

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

Kugrian (886993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173660)

Oh, that's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

saider (177166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174110)

It's "screen door on a submarine," you dork.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

EchaniDrgn (1039374) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174670)

You sound like an idiot when you say it wrong.

Now, make like a tree... and get out of here!

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31176936)

Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here.

Re:Talk about the ultimate makeout spot! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174026)

Personally I would rather get my wife and another attractive female there with me. More fun for everyone.

defying gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31172864)

They got totally inspired by the observation room from Defying Gravity.

Re:defying gravity (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173888)

Looks more like the front of a Tie Fighter

Re:defying gravity (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174240)

It also reminds me a bit of the "celestial chamber" from the (original) Battlestar Galactica finale. [hulu.com]

Re:defying gravity (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31176614)

Defying Gravity was just a horribly performed rip-off of one great docufiction - BBC Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets.

If you want to watch it, do not get the wimpy (and with a very ironic , in the proper sense of the word, name change) US release.

And I thought... (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172880)

This was to be the year of Linux on the atmosphere-top. :)

Why? (1)

repka (1102731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172930)

Why do we need complete pressurized module there? I understand that cupola is not the most expensive section of ISS, but wouldn't it make financial sense just to mount bunch of hi def cameras for this? Hell, you can go RealD 3D for this price tag.

Not anymore (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172996)

Once they open the windows, the module will not be pressurized.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173106)

Cameras mounted outside would be subject to damage from micrometeorites and temperature variations, and would be difficult to maintain. Cameras mounted inside in an unpressurized environment would also be difficult to maintain; how well do precision optics and CCDs react to sudden 1 atm changes in pressure? The cost of materials for the cupola is trivial compared to the cost of transporting it into space and attaching it, so not having one would be a false economy.

Re:Why? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31176986)

Actually I think cameras would be much cheaper than these windows, but nowhere as cool. Despite my sig there is an element of "No Buck Rogers, no bucks" in this.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31178954)

Cameras would be no-where near as effective on the moralle of the crew. A nice viewing platform like this where you can use your peripheral vision could really reduce some of the claustrophobic feelings on the ISS.

Re:Why? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31179096)

Certainly.

Horrible Idea! (1)

gailrob (937536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172944)

Now they can't throw stones in the space station!

Re:Horrible Idea! (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173112)

I suppose a round of gold is completely out of the question too.

Re:Horrible Idea! (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173150)

s/gold/golf/

Space Station Tanning room perhaps? (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31172998)

Are those windows tinted to help keep out those pesky UV rays? Or are the astronauts trying to catch up on their Space Station tans.

That confirms it. (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173002)

The TIE fighter is an Empire craft.

Not a good idea... (4, Funny)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173032)

I think installing Windows in space is a very bad idea. I know things have improved, but even today, the main cause of all crashes that I observe has been Windows, and you do not want a space station to crash.

Wait, what?

You laugh now, but COUNT the Windows there... (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31175962)

I count 7 windows. So the headline could read, "Nasa Installs Windows 7 on the ISS," and scare the crap out of the world.

Opening the windows... (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173048)

... on a space station.

Brilliant idea. :P

Re:Opening the windows... (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173176)

Don't worry, I'm sure they have screens on them to keep meteors from flying in.

Re:Opening the windows... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173208)

Its a better idea then the refried beans turned out to be.

Re:Opening the windows... (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173406)

Yeah ... what's next, the space patio?

(At least the space patio heaters won't contribute to global warming).

Re:Opening the windows... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173532)

Will it result in a blue... face? ;)

Would this be an appropriate place for a..... (1)

Grendel70 (1000350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173700)

Whoosh

Re:Opening the windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31178260)

They have been cooped up for a long time, they have to let the stink out.

Breaking News: New moon spotted in Earth orbit. (1)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173232)

Oh wait, that's just Yuri's ass. Yuri put your damn pants back on and get back to work. Crazy Russians always screwing around.

Re:Breaking News: New moon spotted in Earth orbit. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31179772)

Crack found in ISS window.

Top? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173238)

What is this "top" you're talking about? Would that be the side that isn't the enemy's gate?

"open" seems a bad word (1)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173308)

I assume they mean "uncover", not "open".

Re:"open" seems a bad word (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173930)

Yeah, just mentally replace it with either 'open the shutters' or 'uncover the windows'.

Let the sun shine... (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173312)

let the sun shine...

the sun shine in [youtube.com] .

This Old Space Station (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173440)

No joke here, I just like saying "This Old Space Station"

this actually seems to mean "open the shutters" (2, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31173528)

If I open the shutters, I can now see through the windows. If I open the windows, it lets air circulate in and out (and boy will it!). This appears to be opening the shutters to expose the windows, correct?

I'll bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31173926)

its gonna be a PITA to clean the outside surface of the windows every year.

Open windows? (1)

woodengod (863603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174018)

Space toilet broken again?

Suspicious resemblance (!)... (1)

Xinvoker (1660417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174292)

Polish Space Agency (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31174994)

The ISS is truly an international endeavour. Witness a fine contribution from the Polish Space Agency!

this will end in tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31175020)

If they couldn't get the dimensions of the windows right why would you trust them to get the structural integrity?

Video from inside (!) (1)

trippw (1747888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31177176)

Here's some video from inside the cupola [motherboard.tv] . Did anyone know that this thing was supposed to be named "Colbert" not "Tranquility". Funny. Colbert got the treadmill.

nolife (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31177362)

Slashdot Science Story | NASA Astronaut To Open The Space Station Window

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/2184/issnerds.png

Please tag this story (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181200)

Opening windows in space: tag this what-could-possibly-go-wrong !

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