We've seen private tourists and urine-recycling water filters make their way onto the International Space Station, but breathtaking views have never been the station's strongest selling point. Because of external hazards such as solar radiation and orbiting space debris, the biggest window is only 20 inches. Until now, that is.
The Tranquility node of the ISS is slated for a new 31-inch window, dubbed the Cupola, that will provide views of space never before seen from inside the station. NASA says astronauts will be able to gaze at Earth and the stars. [NASA via Boing Boing]
The space station is one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity and we seem to take it so much for granted. Our attention is so consumed by daily events. This window will do nothing less than continue to let these astronauts dream as they gaze at the earth.
Would be nice to see how they are accomplishing this feat. Is it just a super thick glass window or are they utilizing some sort of plasma technology?(read some articles on concepts utilizing plasma for larger windows). Its my understanding that the vacuum of space is also a reason for minimal window sizes because the differences in pressure. Please correct me if I'm wrong....
Yea I think I read that somewhere about the plasma windows. Are they going to use them because from what I read the window could be even bigger than 31 inches...?
Something about that window looks kind of starwarsish. Once again Nerds influence the evolution of design in space.
The cupola has been one of the most defining things on the ISS for me since the final plans were made public so long ago. There will be truly awe inspiring photos taken from the cupola. I can't wait to see photos of the shuttle approaching the ISS from the cupola
Science fiction made into reality again. Keep on writing those science fiction novels... it might just end up becoming reality.
that's awesome, i can't wait until they decide to make a deep orbit space station that sticks with earth but only orbits the sun, that way we can use it as a half way mark for colonizing mars! keep dreaming people!
This is agreat acomlishment in the history of the ISS. I can't wait untill WE set up a full scale orbiting habatation module! I would be one of the first to live there! (oh,and the window looks like a TIE fighter's viewport!)