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Historic Pairing: Shuttle Docked To the ISS

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the hey-baby-want-to-exchange-air-supplies? dept.

NASA 133

astroengine writes "It's been imaged in artists' renderings, but never before in actual photos: the sight of a space shuttle berthed at the International Space Station. This view of shuttle Endeavour, taken by Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli from aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule on May 23, is the culmination of 36 space shuttle missions to build the outpost over the past 12 years. NASA wanted the shot before it retires the shuttle fleet after one final mission in July."

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Here is a very good video (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367218)

ISS Docking 5-23-11 [youtube.com]

Re:Here is a very good video (2)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367328)

man, at least be a little original [youtube.com] !

Re:Here is a very good video (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367884)

man, at least be a little original [youtube.com] !

Since I only get a message that the video is not available in my country (couldn't they at least put the title on the page?): What would I have seen there?

Re:Here is a very good video (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367966)

You would have been Rick-Rolled. You escaped narrowly thanks to Youtubes country restrictions.

I hate to be "that guy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367248)

But I think it's upside down.

I think... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367288)

That I actual prefer the artistic imaginings of them.

It doesn't look as cool as I would have expected it. Does look fascinating though.

It's all about the angle (2)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367354)

This one [discovery.com] has a much better view. It's the mir station though.

Re:It's all about the angle (2)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367516)

Wow. That shows the truly massive difference in size between Mir and ISS.

I thought there had been a similar shot of ISS when it was smaller, too, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe I was thinking of that Mir shot.

Re:It's all about the angle (1)

JinjaontheNile (2217694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370920)

Ahh memories
I remember seeing that photo and gasping at how much larger MIR was compared to Skylab
There were a lot of details about Skylab in the press but very little details about MIR for some strange reason.

Re:It's all about the angle (2)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368316)

The ISS equivalent would be that one [www.nasa.gov] , which gives you a better view of Endeavour, but misses out a lot of the ISS.

Re:I think... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368102)

I was preparing a presentation where I mentioned that the Atlas rocket had a "1.5 stage" [wikipedia.org] configuration. I opted to illustrate it with a painting [klassiekerrally.nl] because in a photograph [xpda.com] the exhaust is so bright you cannot see clearly the three engines

It's not just an image... (0, Troll)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367316)

Here you have two huge programs whose main reason to exist was simply to support the other.

Re:It's not just an image... (2)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367494)

True enough. But now that the money is spent, shouldn't we at least enjoy the view?

Re:It's not just an image... (1, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367568)

Indeed. Money better spent padding the pockets of Wall Street, bailing out companies that are "too big to (be allowed to) fail", or making and dropping bombs.

Re:It's not just an image... (3, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367704)

This post and it's parent are why I so rarely read Slashdot anymore. It's occupied by a bunch of self-centered elitists who cannot think outside of their own warped sense of reality based on only paying attention to articles they agree with so they don't have to think, they just repeat sound bites heard elsewhere. Please score them both as -20 ... no content worth reading.

Then add this post to the same list.

Re:It's not just an image... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367986)

um that's why most people comment, cause they find the article to align with a self interest (weather positive or negative)

while yes I do think this whole shibang is just money in the shitter, its my right to think that way and if you dont like it, well I am not forcing you to read it, just skip over and move on

Re:It's not just an image... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369056)

Indeed. Money better spent padding the pockets of Wall Street, bailing out companies that are "too big to (be allowed to) fail", or making and dropping bombs.

How about investing it in more productive space exploration programs? Just because I see poor bang for the buck by the Shuttle and ISS doesn't mean I am against research funding in general or space exploration in particular. Even if you narrow it to manned space exploration, SpaceX is progressing rapidly for the amount of money spent.

Scientists compete against each other for money all the time - it's inherent in the process. So arguing against one research path in favor of another isn't anti-science, not even remotely.

Re:It's not just an image... (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367912)

I can think of a hundred other things my money is spent on that I think is more of a waste than the Shuttle Program. I'd rather my taxes go to science and furthering human understanding the universe than, say, prosecuting and incarcerating people for possessing the dried out leaves of a plant that grows wild because (horror of horrors) some people like to smoke it and get high.

But I guess we all have to accept a little give and take when it comes to our tax money, right?

Oblig. (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367332)

This looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367390)

It actually does look a little artificial to me. I can't put my finger on exactly why, though.

Re:Oblig. (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367488)

Me too. All of NASA's "photos" always look fake to me. (not in the conspiracy way, just in the "we doctored these up a bit too much" way)

Re:Oblig. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367650)

I have heard some of this can be attributed to the clearness of the image since it is not being shot through air. Not sure if that is even close to true though.

Re:Oblig. (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369198)

True enough. Sounds real good, too. Could be an iPhone feature soon as well...ya know, the able remove the atmosphere between itself and the subject...I almost positive I heard Jobs mention that yesterday. So yeah, your observation seems solid... Let's call it true! :)

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367682)

No atmospheric effects - distant objects objects do not appear blurrier or greyer, hence they look odd.

fake! (2)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367820)

Because the moon landing was faked, as are all those "manned" rocket missions, and satellites, and evolution; and the earth is flat and the sun goes around it, and Noah's Ark was real despite the fact that one pair each of seven types of elephants at the zoo standard of 150 pounds of food a day would have eaten 300 tons of food -- six railroad hopper cars full -- in the ten months and 13 days they stayed in the Ark (see Genesis 8:13), and that's just the elephants, but don't bother me with facts, because my mind's made up!

Re:Because (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368584)

He gets at least a +1 Funny mods!

(But metamods always get the comments "mod up parent")

Duh! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368404)

It's photographed FROM OUTSIDE. And that's the only shuttle NASA has.

So, unless the aliens took that photo, it was clearly shopped.

Re:Duh! (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368542)

Sure, that's the only shuttle Nasa has, but Russia has a lot of Soyuz capsules - just like the one the Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli was sitting in when he took the picture in the article.

You may proceed with your "whoosh"-ing now, I know you want to.

Yeah, right... (2)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368798)

Russian capsules, Italian photo-taking astronauts (as if...)...

Clearly the simpler solution is that it was shopped. William of Ockham says so.
And you can't fight him. Not just cause he packs a blade, but also cause he's been dead for a very long time.

Re:Duh! (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369094)

Actually, NASA has three Space Shuttle Orbiters. But that photo wasn't taken from one of the other two (as two shuttles have never been in space at the same time), it was taken from a Soyuz spacecraft which was departing from the space station to land in Kazakhstan.

Well, if we're gonna nitpick... (2)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369430)

NASA has 4 Space Shuttles. Only one of them actually flies any more.

Enterprise never flew to space and has been in a museum for a long time now.
Discovery got decommissioned earlier this year and is on its way to a museum.
Endeavour is in the process of decommissioning.
Atlantis is the only remaining Shuttle that is actually operational.

Oh and... My original post was a joke. You know... Ha-ha, LOL, +1 Funny and all that...

Re:Oblig. (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370022)

Maybe you're too used to looking at pictures taken by a cell phone camera so a good quality camera no longer looks natural? It's OK, I have the same problem.

Not True (5, Interesting)

WatcherXP (658784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367386)

Too bad about the "but never before in actual photos" statement, as this is not actually true.

http://blog.polignostix.com/wp-content/gallery/iss-sun/3.jpg [polignostix.com]

Fake photo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367492)

Your photo is obviously fake - it's background is the Sun - a dull Sun for that matter. And the space station is too small!

Loser!

Re:Fake photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367560)

Not sure if this is a joke, but not fake, this was covered on quite a few news outlets:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/suntransit/ [wired.com]

Re:Fake photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368734)

Not sure if you deserve a Whoosh!

Re:Not True (3, Interesting)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367624)

Here's a couple of more recent ones, including videos, also taken from the ground (by the same photographer, probably): http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/STS-134.html [perso.sfr.fr]

Re:Not True (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369414)

Stop being pedantic. The summary simply failed to quote the entire sentence from the linked article: "...but never before in actual photos from another spacecraft..."

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369470)

Nevermind that the linked image is probably a composite of video frames taken on a webcam (through a telescope, obviously), not what most people would call a 'photo'.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36370294)

Too bad about the "but never before in actual photos" statement, as this is not actually true.

http://blog.polignostix.com/wp-content/gallery/iss-sun/3.jpg [polignostix.com]

Indeed, they missed the qualifier that exists on the actual linked page: "from another spacecraft."

What I'll miss most... (4, Informative)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367420)

Now that Paolo Nespoli is back on the ground, I'll miss the updates on his photo album [flickr.com] , where he regularly treated us with pictures of Earth, cities, and fun stuff on the ISS itself. Fortunately, they're still online!

(And it's Paolo, not Paulo; he's Italian, not Portuguese...)

FAIL (-1, Troll)

theCat (36907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367456)

"NASA wanted the shot before it retires the shuttle fleet after one final mission in July."

Then this is just a consolation prize. 12 years to finally get at the iconic moment.

So much fail.

Re:FAIL (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367536)

And just how do you propose they get the shot without spending extra money? You have to be patient and wait for an opportunity like this to emerge.

Re:FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367762)

They cant just hop in another vehicle and drive around taking pictures. The operation is incredibly complicated, and gets even more so when the shuttle is there, as if any exhaust from the photgraphing capsule impacts the shuttle, the shuttle crew's ride home may be damaged bad enough to force them to abandon a shuttle in orbit. Also the Russians were concerned for some time that if they were to undock for pictures, their Soyuz capsule may not re-dock correctly. So they had to time the fly-about and photography with a regularly scheduled crew rotation.

Photographic tools (1)

einstein4pres (226130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367498)

Shot in aperture priority (@ f8, ISO 200) with a Nikon D3X with 24-120mm f3.5-f5.6 zoom. Looks like it was focused at infinity.

Full resolutions photos available via link in article, or here [nasa.gov] .

Re:Photographic tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368074)

Interesting. Ken Rockwell gave that lens a poor review. They likely just need it for the all-purpose range and haven't the time to swap between wide angle and other zoom lenses.

Labels? (3, Insightful)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367518)

Now if someone could just label all the different parts and what they do it would be useful for those of us who think this is cool but don't exactly follow it closely.

For clarity I mean more than 1) Space Shuttle 2) International Space Station. I think I got that part figured out.

Re:Labels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367936)

The third thing is the earth.

Re:Labels? (2)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368018)

For clarity I mean more than 1) Space Shuttle 2) International Space Station. I think I got that part figured out.

And 3) Soyuz 4) Progress 5) ATV, for there are three other vehicles docked to the ISS in this picture.

I'll try (just from memory; hopefully people will correct my mistakes). From top to bottom:

  • 1) Space shuttle Endeavour.
  • 2) Connecting node (which one? There are 3 but I see only 2), with I believe European lab Columbus partly hidden on the left and two-module Japanese lab Kibo on the right. There ought to be a logistics module somewhere there, maybe behind?
  • 3) US lab Destiny.
  • 4) The big truss, with 4x4 solar panels, the big radiators and the arm on its chariot.
  • 5) Connecting node Unity (second launched), with a couple of smaller modules I'm not sure about.
  • 6) Russian module Zarya (first launched), with a dedicated EVA airlock facing the camera.
  • 7) Russian module Zvezda (third launched), with a Soyuz spacecraft and a Progress cargo (don't know which is which) on its ring of docking ports
  • 8) European cargo Johannes Kepler (the X-wing-like thing docked to Zvezda's aft docking port).

Re:Labels? (1)

jitterman (987991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368040)

Wish there was an "insightfunny" +1

Why is the space shuttle upside down? (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368624)

Weird.

Woops (1)

gr1dl0ck (165776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367544)

Geez, and they got it upside-down. How embarrassing.

Re:Woops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368836)

No; either your computer fell on the floor, in which case placing it right-side-up back on your desk should solve the issue, or you are upside down and need to correct your orientation relative to the rest of us.

Is it just me... (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367564)

I know the article's short, but I kept reading and kept arriving at:

NASA spent 12 years and 36 missions, using space shuttles, to build a space shuttle landing dock.
NASA uses the completed dock and takes a picture just before retiring the fleet.

Isn't that kind of like using a 2-seater to awkwardly haul cement and building materials from Lowes
or HomeDepot to build yourself a driveway, taking forever to do it, and then selling your car once it's
built and taking the (Russian) bus instead?
Oh, and taking a picture of it too.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367746)

Your car-analogy fu is strong.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368118)

More like promising your building project can do anything, having the politicians cut the budget until your grand project is little more than a driveway for a car, THEN selling the car once its built and taking the Russian bus instead.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368126)

AFAICT, the shuttle has docked before, but this is the first time that they've taken a picture of it.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368248)

Wouldn't it be ironic if the inspection of the shuttle revealed damage making it unsafe for reentry, making the crew take the russian capsule to come back ? Then the shuttle would become the new permanent module of the ISS.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369238)

Why don't they just retire all the space shuttles as new modules to the space station? Saves on parking costs on the ground and gives a little more elbow room. On the plus side, they can send up fuel and they'll be ready to go whenever Bruce Willis wants to blow up some asteroids without having to dock with some insane Russian.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Orffen (1994222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370506)

Because they're not designed for long-term stays... in spaaaaaaace! (fuel cells, leaky atmosphere etc.).

Am I the only one... (2)

DG (989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367566)

...who hears the Star Trek - The Motion Picture "Enterprise in Dock Fly-by" music in my head when I look at those pictures?

The Blue Danube would also be an acceptable answer.

DG

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367994)

No, but I think "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought",
followed by "The Shield is down. Red Squadron engage".

Audio: The Blue Danube by a mile.
Wouldn't it be cool if the docking-computer on the space shuttle played the Blue Danube when it was activated.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370878)

Makes me think of the Babylon 5 intro ...

"Humans and aliens wrapped in two million five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal ... all alone in the night."

Of course, there's no spinning. And not that much metal. And no Mexicans. But, other than that, it's perfect!

FAP FAP FAP (0)

northernfrights (1653323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367628)

I find this photo very easy to masturbate to.

Re:FAP FAP FAP (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368158)

sick pervert, normal people would only find the topside and cockpit of the shuttle arousing, but here you are looking at the underbelly and engine bells and getting off. shameful.

Awesome and sad (1)

acid06 (917409) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367800)

These are awesome pictures.

I feel somewhat sad with the thought that such a marvel of human engineering won't fly again. It's a shame that the "disposable" culture has reached even the upper echelons of science research.

It clearly shows why the US can't be a world leader anymore. The space shuttle is an inspiring achievement - when you dump that for a disposable capsule that just falls from the sky while trying to keep the people in there alive... well, you can't lead the world towards an inspiring future anymore.

May Endeavour have a nice and safe last flight back home.

Re:Awesome and sad (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368020)

it was an inspiring achievement, then it never lived up to any of its promise or hype, now its nearly 40 years old and time to move on, besides you don't see many "leaders" driving their 1976 ford pinto around do you?

Re:Awesome and sad (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368482)

Yeah, sure, excpet that it was just some "disposable capsule" that got us to the moon and back, perhaps the single most inspiring achievement any culture in the history of mankind has ever managed.

Symmetry is a pretty big deal when desiging moving bodies that will have 6 degrees of dynamic freedom through which to move. Space capsules: don't knock 'em until you study 'em.

Re:Awesome and sad (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369006)

The analogy I would use with the Space Shuttle is that it's like using a Humvee to drive to the grocery store and back.

The humvee is an impressive vehicle. But, for the most part, you don't need the capabilities of the humvee just to get groceries and it's a pretty expensive thing to run just to go get groceries.

Similar thing here. The Space Shuttle is an impressive vehicle. It can do some really amazing things. However, we don't need to do those things. We don't need to retrieve satellites from LEO--with launch costs coming down, it's cheaper to just launch a new one. While the "repair" argument could be made, it's rare that it would be necessary and the satellites need to be designed so that they can be repaired in space. The best example of this is Hubble--without the Space Shuttle, Hubble would have shut down decades ago. But Hubble was designed to be serviced by the Space Shuttle. Most satellites aren't. In regards to science, the ISS is a much better platform for research than the Space Shuttle simply because it can stay up longer. So at the moment, the Shuttle's only value is taking people to the ISS. Frankly, that's a really expensive way to do it. And while we can all say that NASA's budget is a tiny amount of the overall national budget and how NASA deserves to have more money, I'd also like to see NASA not waste money flying the Space Shuttle just to drop a few people off at the ISS--no matter how impressive it looks.

Private industry is definitely the way to go here--at least to LEO. Let NASA spend my money figuring out how to get people and associated equipment to the Moon, Mars, etc. Let NASA build the vehicles that will take stuff to the Moon, Mars, and build an infrastructure out there in order to jump start private industry's exploitation. Let someone else figure out how to get Dr. Scientist up to the ISS.

Leave one there (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367842)

I say we leave one up there (send it up with minimal crew and let them hitch rides home with the Russians or others). The shuttle still would make for an awesome emergency re-entry vehicle--a classic life boat with some extra kick.

Re:Leave one there (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368188)

The shuttle still would make for an awesome emergency re-entry vehicle--a classic life boat with some extra kick.

The APU fuel will freeze, the water based fuel cells will run out of reactants, freeze, then crack. The RCS oxidizer will probably eventually freeze. Thermal issues are kinda unclear. Also there was something weird about the tires that I don't remember. Anyway, facing absolutely certain death, you could try a mothballed escape shuttle with only almost certain death.

Frankly the best on-orbit use of an "extra" shuttle, although completely and utterly non-heroic and terrible PR, would be as a garbage scow, then dump the whole works in the Pacific.

Re:Leave one there (1)

BZWingZero (1119881) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368310)

Well, they'd work as a classic lifeboat for about two weeks. Then the batteries would die and you wouldn't have any control surfaces on landing. Or life support. Plus, the shuttles leak atmosphere. Not a significant amount for a 2 week mission, but if it was much longer it would be an issue.

Why not just use parachutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369236)

If the ISS were to explode, just jump off it? Deploy parachutes once you hit atmosphere. I don't see why you need a craft, people jump out of planes all the time.

Parachutes don't slow things down quickly enough (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370534)

You are not going to lose a few kilometers per second in velocity at survivable deceleration with a parachute before you run out of air braking and hit ground. Some more rigid structure that can stand a bit of heat or some whopping great big rockets pointed in the direction where you want to lose the velocity have been the favourites so far. A slow spiral with plenty of time to catch air in the parachute is just not going to happen since there isn't a lot of depth of air to spiral through. Apollo used a skip trajectory to get around the problem of not having much depth of air to slow down in - that required rockets to go from one skip to the next.

Re:Why not just use parachutes? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370904)

If the ISS were to explode, just jump off it? Deploy parachutes once you hit atmosphere. I don't see why you need a craft, people jump out of planes all the time.

Sure. And as a side bonus, people on the surface would get to make a wish on a shooting star.

Size (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36367850)

Either the Shuttle is larger than I thought, or the ISS is smaller than I thought.

Re:Size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36367976)

When I was a kid, and the shuttle was just starting, Air and Space magazine had a poster that showed 'spacecraft through the years'. It had Vostok, Mercury, Voskhod, Gemini, Soyuz, Apollo... and then you unfolded the other 3/4 of the poster to show the Shuttle. All the others could neatly fit in the cargo bay of the Orbiter. The think is frickin' huge.

Re:Size (1)

scottrocket (1065416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368122)

Just imagine an astronaut floating inside one SSME bell - helps me to put in a size perspective!

Re:Size (1)

gdp007 (737002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368052)

Shuttle is large. It's meant to haul a huge amount of cargo, plus seven people. Definitely jaw-droppingly worth doing is visiting an Apollo rocket, say the one at NASA Houston. Now that's big. Then think about the size of the cargo area (3 humans) compared to the rest of the rocket. Jaw hits floor!

Re:Size (1)

danhuby (759002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368466)

It's not that big - remember that it can be transported strapped to the top of a 747.

http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/ALT/Small/ECN-6887.jpg [nasa.gov]

The ISS is probably smaller than the GP thought.

Re:Size (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368574)

I find the shuttle bigger than I thought. I realized that when I saw Enterprise at Air and Space museum at Dulles. Also realized how small the Enola Gay really is. Seemed bigger in pictures possibly because of the enormity of what it had done.

Re:Size (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36370942)

It's not that big - remember that it can be transported strapped to the top of a 747.

If your definition of "not that big" is "a bit smaller than a 747", there is something VERY wrong with you ....

Re:Size (1)

jitterman (987991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368064)

At the same time, scroll up a bit and find the link to the pic of MIR and the Shuttle that someone else provided - you might actually be shocked!

Re:Size (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368120)

ISS small, roughly 51 meters by 21 meter diameter; the truss is long, 109 meters wide

Re:Size (1)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368218)

Consider that most of the individual pieces of the ISS actually went into orbit *inside* the shuttle bay.... So the answer is yes: the Shuttle is larger than you thought, and the ISS is smaller than you thought ;-)

Re:Size (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368508)

"Either the Shuttle is larger than I thought, or the ISS is smaller than I thought."

The Shuttle is surprisingly large. When I was younger, I always had an image in my mind of it being closer to a large business jet or a school bus with wings in terms of size. I saw the full-scale mockups in Florida and Texas last summer, and was shocked. It's actually closer to the size of a single-aisle airliner.

I think the reason for my earlier perception is that I'd seen photos of the Shuttle on its 747 carrier before, but was picturing the relative scale as if the carrier were a 727 or MD-80.

I understand why it's being retired, and that it wasn't super-efficient, but seeing one in person made me appreciate even more just what sort of engineering it took to get something that big into orbit, as opposed to a capsule.

Re:Size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36370874)

The Shuttle is surprisingly large. When I was younger, I always had an image in my mind of it being closer to a large business jet or a school bus with wings in terms of size. I saw the full-scale mockups in Florida and Texas last summer, and was shocked. It's actually closer to the size of a single-aisle airliner.

I think the reason for my earlier perception is that I'd seen photos of the Shuttle on its 747 carrier before, but was picturing the relative scale as if the carrier were a 727 or MD-80.

I understand why it's being retired, and that it wasn't super-efficient, but seeing one in person made me appreciate even more just what sort of engineering it took to get something that big into orbit, as opposed to a capsule.

The Space Shuttle was originally supposed to be smaller, a large school bus perhaps. Then the CIA got interested, did some calculations on expected spy sat sizes and wanted to be able to launch one really big one or multiple smaller ones simultaneously from the Shuttle and all of a sudden "Leon is getting larger..."

While IANARS, I did work on some of the updated engine electronics with every *-Martin-* variant (both for the Shuttle and other related projects), did a little time at Michoud, and got to talk to people who were involved with the original work before the spooks got involved playing Stretch Armstrong with the design.

I also got to stand on top of one of the *-Martin-* buildings at CC for a launch. No subwoofer will ever be built which can impress me with a recreation of that experience, I think. Someday I hope I can relocate the mission patches I got from that contract.

Now that the station is up there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368206)

...can't they just lower some ropes and chains and pull up materials? We do it all the time in my treehouse. Seems easier than launching these dangerous shuttles.

Re:Now that the station is up there... (1)

Soft (266615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368274)

Answering your quip seriously, they'd have to be in geostationary orbit to do that (the ISS is in a much lower orbit, in an inclined plane), and then it would be called a space elevator. Lots of unsolved problems, not the least of which is spinning out at least 36,000 km of strong enough material. But yes, it is theoretically possible, and hopefully will revolutionize spaceflight when it is done.

Re:Now that the station is up there... (1)

Macgyveric (879573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369160)

...can't they just lower some ropes and chains and pull up materials? We do it all the time in my treehouse. Seems easier than launching these dangerous shuttles.

Sure you can! If you can speed up whatever you want to bring to the space station to 17,500 mph, then they'll bring it up on a rope for you, because that's how fast they're going :) It's deceptive when you watch a launch because the shuttle looks like it's going thousands of miles into space, but it's really only going a few hundred miles up. Most of the fuel is spent on horizontal change in velocity so that it can reach a speed necessary to continuously "fall off the edge of the earth". The ISS is going so fast that it orbits the earth every 90 minutes. Compare that with how long it takes for a flight from California to New York (several hours) and you'll see just how amazing the ISS and Shuttle are :)

never before in actual photos ? (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368286)

Re:never before in actual photos ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369560)

RTFA!
it specifically says ".. never before... from a spaceship..."
photos from the ground don't count in this narrow category.

perspective (1)

satsuke (263225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368520)

I know this is obvious, but from the photographer's perspective and humans needing to perceive up from down .. how he chose his up from down to take the photo.

Somebody make a Descent map of the ISS already. (if 15 years late)

Leave shuttle paired to ISS (1)

JayBeee (553664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368666)

I was wondering if it were not a good idea to leave the shuttle paired to the ISS? Is the shuttle that old that it cannot be used even as a spare room? Alternatively there may be other interesting uses that could benefit ISS.

Nice mount. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368692)

It looked like these two are mating/having sex. :P

Shuttle-copter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36368782)

Or is it just me?

Seems I've read about this somewhere ... (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 3 years ago | (#36368826)

"The party and the Krikkit warship looked, in their writhings, a little like two ducks, one of which is trying to make a third duck inside the second duck, while the second duck is trying very hard to explain that it doesn't feel ready for a third duck right now, is uncertain that it would want any putative third duck to be made by this particular first duck anyway, and certainly not while it, the second duck, was busy flying."
http://goo.gl/mfJhi [goo.gl]

What's the shuttle's arm doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36369128)

Kinda looks like it's scratching itself ... :)

Strange (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36369980)

The geotag on those photos puts them in Studio City, California. Somewhere on the Warner Bros. back lot to be exact.

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