The core module of the iconic Mir space station, launched 30 years ago Saturday, was a cramped living space that could barely support two cosmonauts. But over the years, the station evolved like a multicellular organism, sprouting six more pressurized limbs from the DOS-7 base block to become the largest spacefaring vessel of its day, as well as the first continuously inhabited orbital outpost in human history.
Once again, astronauts on the International Space Station dissolved an effervescent tablet in a floating ball of water, and captured images using a camera capable of recording four times the resolution of normal high-definition cameras
Astronaut Tracy Dyson aboard the International Space Station in late September, 2010. She returned to Earth with her Russian crewmates Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko on 25th September.
We see this sort of image all the time now, but typically released as a promotional still for a film, or as some other demonstration of artistic exploit. And to be fair, they often look even better than this. More perfect, more pristine. Crisper. One of my film lecturers spoke a few times about the 9/11 attacks in New York, and the impression they left upon us as viewers. As modern film-goers we regularly see destruction on an even grander scale than that, and far more beautifully. One of the strangest experiences of those attacks was seeing the violence in the comparatively mundane setting of TV news.
So looking at this photo here with its softness, and other artefacts, I’m reminded of that comparison. An astounding sight (this time at least, a positive sight), cloaked in delightful, comforting mundanity.