comic | episodes & e-books | store | about
< previous post | next post > | all news from Aug. 2011 News archive | News search | RSS
 
  Tranquility, space pin-ups, & C.O.L.B.E.R.T.Aug 20, 2011 2:25 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:A super-big "you are awesome" to the guys at BurntWeiners.com ("A Comic Book Review & Discussion Podcast From Guys Who Know Less About Comics Than You Do!") for not only writing up a really nice review of A*, but also for spending about eight minutes of (note: contains lots of (im)mature language in amusing banter form!) their most recent podcast discussing it. :) I always love to see (or hear!) what other people think of A*, and this is, like, the most people have had to say about it in one go before, and certainly some of the most well-articulated things that have been said about it, so that was really nice to get to listen to.
 
But also check out that podcast if you just have any interest in other webcomics whatsoever, because they really did come up with a large number of very interesting ones. And if you enjoy that, their earlier webcomics podcast, from last October, is a good listen as well.
 
~~~~~~~~~
 
All right, time to continue the space module coverage I started yesterday!
 
I already talked about the Italian-made Harmony and Columbia modules of the International Space Station, so today I'll start off with the most recent one: Tranquility, made by the ESA (European Space Agency) and ISA (Italian Space Agency), was lifted up to the station in February of last year by the Space Shuttle Endeavour; Wikipedia has this really fantastic photo of the module being transferred from Endeavour to its spot on the ISS:
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
Tranquility has "the most advanced life support systems ever flown in space," recycling waste water, generating oxygen, and monitoring and cleaning the air in the station. It hosts a bathroom, and is also used for "exercise, storage, and robotics work in connection with Cupola."
 
I talked about the 20-inch window in the Destiny module yesterday, but Tranquility's Cupola is the largest window ever flown in space: about two meters in diameter, consisting of seven panes, each with a shutter that can be closed to protect the pane from micrometeorites and space debris. It also just looks really cool, so now I'm going to roll in a bunch of photos of it:
 
Image
image by NASA/Tracy Caldwell Dyson (source)
 
^ A self-portrait! She did a pretty good job setting this one up, I'd say--not only getting the rim of the Earth just right, but also keeping her considerable hair out of the way!
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
^ The Sahara Desert seen through all seven windows.
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
^ Doug Wheelock working inside the cupola; here you can see the various positions of the protective shutters.
 
Image
image by NASA (source)
 
^ Nicholas Patrick, removing the last of the insulation and launch restraint bolts from the newly installed Cupola in February 2010.
 
Tranquility gained a good deal of notoriety in the year before its launch, when popular television comedian Steven Colbert had viewers of his "The Colbert Report" show stuff the ballot box of the naming contest NASA was holding for the module. "Colbert" won, with nearly 20% of the 1.2 million votes--40,000 votes ahead of the runner-up, the NASA-provided name "Serenity." In the end, though, NASA I guess decided they'd better overrule that outcome, and decided on "Tranquility" in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in the Moon's "Sea of Tranquility." But to show they were (sort of) good sports, they named the module's exercise treadmill "Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill," or "C.O.L.B.E.R.T." for short. One of their best acronyms so far, you'd have to say!
 
There are still a few more descendents of Spacelab's modules to talk about, but there just too many cool photos to make people download in one post--so I'll have another big batch for you on Monday!
 
Oh and also don't forget to check for a new page of my weekly fairy tale comic, "The Princess and the Giant," this Sunday! Here's a teaser of and link to last week's page, in case you missed it:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
 
< previous post | next post > | all news from Aug. 2011 News archive | News search | RSS
 
Copyright 2020 Ben Chamberlain. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy