According to the Telegraph’s report, Nasa astronauts opened the shutters on the International Space Station’s new observation deck and were humbled by “absolutely spectacular” views of Earth from inside the elaborate atrium of windows.
The Endeavour astronauts have been hard at work completing their mission on the International Space Station. Early yesterday’s morning, they completed a new observation module that serves to provide an extra room for inhabitants and equipment. The room includes windows that provide an incredible, panoramic view of Earth as well as other objects in space and approaching spacecraft.
The observation deck is part of Tranquility, a £250 million Italian-built entension to the space station which is designed to offer sweeping 360-degree views of Earth and outer space.The cupola features seven windows, and the round, central window is the largest ever flown in space, according to the AssociatedPress.
Jeffrey Williams, the space station commander, said the view from inside the International Space Station was “absolutely spectacular” as it glided through space 220 miles above the South Pacific. “When we have the others around it open, it will give us a view of the entire globe. Absolutely incredible,” he added. Mission Control set the night’s mood by beaming up a recording of Jimmy Buffett’s Window on the World. “I don’t think the space station’s ever going to be the same after this,” Mission Control said in a congratulatory call.
President Obama called the astronaut crews of Endeavour and the space station late Wednesday afternoon from the White House to congratulate them on their ongoing mission. Obama also turned over his telephone to visiting middle school students, who asked questions of the astronauts, according to the CNN’s report.
The cupola will house controls for the station’s robotic arms and will allow crew members to monitor spacewalks and other exterior activities. The window shutters that can be closed to provide protection from orbital debris. [via CNN, AssociatedPress and Telegraph]