The Earth. Our home. Our precious, fragile, home. Seen from an extraordinary vantage point…
… where the moon looms larger.
Amazing photo from the NASA Artemis mission!
How could this not be about the SLS launch last night? Despite the rocky road to flight (prime being Boeing’s perhaps willful incompetence) and a changing rocketry landscape that now surrounds it, it is always exciting to see a new vehicle leap to the heavens, especially the largest lift vehicle that has ever flown. Doubly especially one that uses massive solid rocket boosters and their insane flame gouts — when I saw my first Falcon 9 launch, it was daytime and the brightness of the flame was astounding. This SLS has to be orders of magnitude even more insanely bright.
I was supper giddy and cheering at the livestream as I watched SLS launch. So exciting to see it soar upwards and help start a new era of space exploration.
Amazing photo of the launch with the moon in the background (click on the photo above to see it, and it’s not composited, this was an actual shot. You can tell by the pressure waves from the rocket exhaust warping the bottom of the moon).
Great shot of the moment SLS went supersonic!
8 million pounds of thrust….
Liftoff beauty shot…
And a frikk’n amazing tracking shot at the moment of booster separation!
As an architect (and someone who enjoys spaceships) I am obligated by the universe to love this sketch derived from binder clips:
“Everything I had thought was wrong.
Everything I had expected to see was wrong.
I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.” I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.
It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral…
[Seeing our precious earth from space] can change the way we look at the planet but also other things like countries, ethnicities, religions; it can prompt an instant reevaluation of our shared harmony and a shift in focus to all the wonderful things we have in common instead of what makes us different. It reinforced tenfold my own view on the power of our beautiful, mysterious collective human entanglement, and eventually, it returned a feeling of hope to my heart.
In this insignificance we share, we have one gift that other species perhaps do not: we are aware—not only of our insignificance, but the grandeur around us that makes us insignificant. That allows us perhaps a chance to rededicate ourselves to our planet, to each other, to life and love all around us.
If we seize that chance.”
The moon of Prometheus, orbiting Saturn right along the edge of the F-band ring.
What an amazing photo. Jason Major has more on the photo and on Prometheus, including little videos showing how the small moon weaves in and out of the F-band, pulling bits of the band away in delicate wisps (which eventually are pulled back into the ring) — check it out here.
Reminiscent of my own attempt at a visualization, here’s a great one that shows just how remarkably thin our atmosphere really is… the right stack is the Kármán line at 100km (62mi) where space begins:
With a bonus representation of about how high orbital vehicles are, at about 300km!
Here’s an amazing and quite detailed tour of the International Space Station, visiting every module from tip to tip to tip to tip! Plus some great views out the various portholes and windows… and all in French! (With English subtitles too!)
Crew-2 returned just a few days ago (with the video’s host, Thomas Pesquet aboard) and Crew-3 has just departed a few hours ago on their way to the ISS. Busy week in the lovely gem of the ISS!
Agile, zippy, little spaceship by Starshipwright