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Scenes from Space: Best Images from STS-130 (so far…)

Astronaut Robert Behnken during the first EVA of the mission. Credit: NASA

The STS-130 mission has provided some of the most amazing photos of any space shuttle mission to date — from a stunning shot of space shuttle Endeavour silhouetted against Earth’s colorful atmosphere, to incredible views of the International Space station, to the always amazing photos of astronauts at work in space. But that’s only the beginning! Take a look at a sampling of some of the best images from the mission so far. Above, astronaut Bob Behnken works outside the ISS during the first EVA of the mission.

Close-up view of Endeavour's nose section as seen from the ISS. Credit: NASA

During my time in at Kennedy Space Center the past couple of weeks, I had the chance to see space shuttle Endeavour up close. But not quite this close! Here’s the view the ISS astronauts had as the space shuttle pulled up for docking to the space station.

great view of the Tranquility module before being attached to the ISS. Credit: NASA

This is an amazing view of our home in space, the ISS, and a great way to see the international partnership of nations at work: CanadArm 2 from Canada hangs onto the Tranquility Node built by Europe; also a view of Japan’s JEM module, and the Russian Soyuz and a US space shuttle that are docked to the ISS.

Robert Behnken hangs on. Credit: NASA

I get vertigo just looking at this one! Hang on Bob Behnken!! But what a view. During the first EVA of the mission, Behnken and fellow spacewalker Nicholas Patrick relocated a temporary platform from the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, or Dextre, to the station’s truss structure and installed two handles on the robot. Once Tranquility was structurally mated to Unity, the spacewalkers connected heater and data cables that integrated the new module with the rest of the station’s systems. They also pre-positioned insulation blankets and ammonia hoses that the same two spacewalkers connected up Tranquility to the station’s cooling radiators during the mission’s second spacewalk.

Superman, a.k.a Terry Virts zooms through the Zarya module. Credit: NASA

This is what we all want to do in space. Pilot Terry Virts does Superman in fine style in the Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB).

Fresh fruit and veggies are a rare treat in space. Credit: NASA

Fresh food in space is one thing we haven’t figured out how to do yet, so any arriving spacecraft must be extremely welcome for the crunchy and succulent apples, oranges, carrots, etc. they bring. It’s interesting to see NASA uses the same green bags that I use at home to keep fruit and vegetables fresh longer. That’s ISS Commander Jeff Williams with the goodies.

Endeavour silhouetted against Earth's atmospere. Credit: NASA

I know we published this image earlier, but it is so amazing, I had to include it in this gallery. Just absolutely stunning.

Another great shot of astronaut Bob Behnken during EVA-1. Credit: NASA

A great shot of astronaut Bob Behnken during EVA-2, a five-hour, 54-minute spacewalk. Behnken and Nicholas Patrick connected two ammonia coolant loops, installed thermal covers around the ammonia hoses, outfitted the Earth-facing port on the Tranquility node for the relocation of its Cupola, and installed handrails and a vent valve on the new module.

Moving the cupola. Credit: NASA

Another great view of the action taking place at the ISS this week. In the grasp of the Canadarm2, the cupola was relocated from the forward port to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station’s newly installed Tranquility node. The cupola is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecrafts. With the installation of Tranquility and cupola, the space station is about 90 percent complete.

Night launch of Endeavour. Credit: NASA

Having witnessed the launch personally, I have to include a couple of incredible pictures of the night launch of Endeavour. Speaking of launches, the latest word is that the next mission may be an early morning launch, as STS-131 has slipped to launching no earlier than April 5, 2010 at 6:27 am EDT. We’ll keep you posted.

Launch, another view. Credit: NASA

For more images, see the STS-130 gallery on NASA’s website.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aqua February 16, 2010, 4:19 PM

    A classic collection! Thanks Nancy!

    That image of Terry Virts in the Zarya module gives me claustrophobia… and makes me wonder, HOW did the cosmonauts ever endure long duration flights in MIR? That’s DEDICATION!

  • dwaymire February 16, 2010, 6:29 PM

    I love the photos where they are moving the nodes. The one with the Shuttle and Soyuz is an interesting perspective.

    That cupola looks so tiny and easy to move in the other photo.

  • ND February 17, 2010, 5:45 AM

    Those night launch images are great!

  • Olaf February 17, 2010, 10:49 AM

    Did you ever wonder how it is possible to see an astronaut in the dark and have such beautiful images?

    Because Earth is one huge softbox or reflector.

    Without earth the dark side of the astronaut would be pitch dark.

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