Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Home movies in space

There's normal, and there's strange. But when the strange becomes normal, then I find it even, somehow, weirder.

This is a fifteen-minute video of astronauts doing...well, something that involves an EVA a few days ago during the current Space Shuttle mission.

OK, Wikipedia lets us know more or less what's going on here:

On flight day 7, Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang performed the second spacewalk of the STS-128 mission. Olivas and Fuglesang installed and connected the new Ammonia Tank Assembly (ATA), and also performed two get aheads. The get ahead tasks included installing protective lens covers on the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) End B cameras . Once the ATA was installed, the tank was integrated into the cooling loop. While Olivas and Fugelsang were outside, the rest of the crew continued on transferring items to and from both the shuttle mid-deck and MPLM.

All clear?

Right, here's the video. Most of it is silent for some reason, so you may want to put on some background music. (I happened to be listening to 'Phaedra' from Tangerine Dream at the time, which worked pretty well.) And if you want to see it in a larger format, you can do so here.

What I find so remarkable about this video is how normal it all seems. Just a bunch of people hanging out in their shirtsleeves, unpacking some bubble-wrapped equipment (rather tricky in zero-g, it seems) and using their laptops (which are running Windows XP, it seems...somehow, seeing that all-too-familiar screensaver is the most unsettling thing about this).

Meanwhile, looking over their shoulders, we see...the Earth.


(Via Boing Boing)


Francis Sedgemore said...

“I happened to be listening to 'Phaedra' from Tangerine Dream at the time,…”

Should you be admitting to this sort of thing in a public forum?

J. Carter Wood said...

What, you mean that mid-70s experimental German electronic music is not universally loved?

I'm shocked!

But no, je ne regrette rien.

('Phaedra', incidentally, was in the UK top twenty for fifteen weeks in 1974. Hardly an affirmation of quality, I know, but still...)

Francis Sedgemore said...

Shameless hippy.

Geoff Coupe said...

I know what you mean about the strangeness. I got goosebumps watching a telescope repair a few months back:

Damn! Phaedra! I'd forgotten it. The LP has gone the way of all flesh, unfortunately. Thanks for the YouTube link...

J. Carter Wood said...

Francis: 'Shameless', yes, 'Hippy'...well, maybe. But I'd have thought TD a bit too electronic for your average long-hair. Don't they go more for quiet, acoustic strumming?

What are they listening to out on the commons?

Geoff: I think I followed that link (or another) from you sometime ago that had a similar effect.

And it sounds like you need to re-stock some space rock....

Francis Sedgemore said...

In my misspent youth I attended a few TD concerts, and can assure you that their audience was almost exclusively of a hippy persuasion.

As for the Climate Campers, they buggered off last Wednesday.