Maybe probably the most well-known a part of the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) is the Cupola, a seven-window observatory module providing panoramic views of Earth and house.
Many ISS astronauts prefer to spend their free time there, gazing dreamily out of the home windows whereas capturing images showcasing the great thing about our planet.
However the Cupola is rather more than only a place for astronauts to sit back and loosen up throughout their downtime. It’s additionally the right spot for Earth commentary research, and capabilities as a workstation for working the power’s robotic arm for spacewalks and spacecraft maneuvers.
The Cupola is 3 meters throughout and 1.5 meters excessive and weighs about 1.8 tons. It was constructed by the European Area Company (ESA) and put in throughout a Area Shuttle Endeavour mission in 2010, a decade after the ISS went into operation.
This week present ISS inhabitant Matthias Maurer tweeted a shot from the Cupola that hints on the astonishing views that guests to the space-based facility are in a position to take pleasure in.
There's all the time one thing to see from the Cupola 🔎🌍 An unimaginable view of the Earth, robotic actions of the @csa_asc #Canadarm2, arriving spacecraft & spacewalks. In the mean time, it’s also possible to see a part of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft & #Prichal behind me 🛰️#CosmicKiss pic.twitter.com/RbydqGuEKO
— Matthias Maurer (@astro_matthias) December 15, 2021
Take notice, although — the home windows aren’t as giant because the picture seems to counsel, with the digicam’s wide-angle lens distorting the picture considerably. The video beneath gives a glance contained in the Cupola and offers a greater concept of the true dimension of not solely the home windows, however of the module itself.
A bit identified function of the Cupola is its exterior shutter system that assist to guard the home windows from tiny meteoroids and orbital particles that would come its means. Closed when the module isn’t in use, the shutters additionally forestall photo voltaic radiation from heating up the Cupola and cease inside warmth from escaping, in accordance with ESA. You possibly can see the shutters in motion within the video beneath.
ESA says the Cupola offers a “shirtsleeve setting” for as much as two astronauts working within the module. “Its inside structure is dominated by higher and decrease handrails across the cabin, supporting many of the gear, and by ‘close-out’ panels, which cowl the harness and cooling water strains.”
To discover the Cupola for your self, take a look at Google Earth’s splendidly immersive function that permits you to view the module from each angle, and in nice element, too.
For extra about day-to-day life on the Worldwide Area Station, check out these movies made by visiting astronauts over time.