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December 18, 2012 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Astronaut, and Expedition 33 Commander, Sunita Williams gives a tour of the International Space Station.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (27 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
The view outside from the Cupola, about 12 minutes in, is fantastic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2012

I have no sound on this computer so I can't really truly watch this til I get home, but 3 minutes in and I am loving both her enthusiasm and her zero-gravity hairdo.
posted by elizardbits at 10:40 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

this is some of the clearest, most high res video I've seen form the inside of the ISS AND I WANT TO GO THERE RIGHT NOW OH GOD SPACE WHY AM I NOT IN SPACE RIGHT NOW
posted by The Whelk at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

but 3 minutes in and I am loving both her enthusiasm and her zero-gravity hairdo.

Watch it with sound, she's great and clearly having a ball. Watching her place Superman in the PMM can't help but make one grin.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:43 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

This one is my favourite.
posted by hal at 11:21 AM on December 18, 2012

I agree with the Whelk. I almost can't watch it from pure, ugly jealousy.

I love that Russian engineers clearly don't give a fuck about human factors design - they're all about cramming as much science as possible into the tiniest possible space. Soyuz is like: "Wait, you want PEOPLE in here? Well they'd better be small. And ... flexible."
posted by The Bellman at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by Termite at 12:01 PM on December 18, 2012

Awesome. Strange how her legs moved in zero-g when she was "stood" still. And what was that eerie noise at about 20/21 minutes?
posted by marienbad at 1:26 PM on December 18, 2012

Oh god I had a near religious moment when we looked back at Earth in the copula, I had to keep reminding myself NOT A MOVIE! NOT CG! ACTUAL REAL SPACE SHIT IN SPACE AHHH!

I couldn't stop staring at her floaty necklace.

Of course REAL Russian toilet paper is coarse.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on December 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Any eerie noises are probably fans or pumps of various types.

Yeah, the Russians still run those dryer-exhaust tubes full of things like electrical lines and O2 hoses right through the hatches -- something that had to be disconnected in a hurry when the accident happened on Mir and the depressurization of Spektr (eventually they had to rig a shunt to the module's solar arrays on the outside to retain access to its power).

I loved how blase she was about the spacewalks -- "Oh, been on a couple" -- when she is not only the woman with the most spacewalk time, but also the fifth most experienced spacewalker overall^, and still an active astronaut so potentially able to climb to fourth or third on the list. Depends on whether she feels this command caps her career or not.
posted by dhartung at 3:01 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

ARTHUR DENT:Good grief! Is this really the interior of a flying saucer?
FORD PREFECT: It certainly is. What do you think?
ARTHUR DENT:Well, it's a bit squalid isn't it?
FORD PREFECT:What did you expect?
ARTHUR DENT: Well, I don't know… gleaming control panels… flashing lights, computer screens… Not old mattresses.

posted by rongorongo at 3:43 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is basically the coolest thing ever. I wish I had something more substantive to add, but that's pretty much it. Thanks, Brandon Blatcher.
posted by koeselitz at 4:02 PM on December 18, 2012

I want to go to space soooooo badly. Also, Sunita Williams, what an amazing person.
posted by Freen at 4:14 PM on December 18, 2012

The way she starts shooting around the station just for the hell of it at one point is awesome. "Like Superman!" :D
posted by koeselitz at 4:20 PM on December 18, 2012

Brandon, you always have the coolest space links. Thanks!
posted by empatterson at 4:21 PM on December 18, 2012

Holy cow, that thing orbits the earth almost sixteen times per day?

I am now consumed with curiosity and wonder about this crazy thing human beings have done.

I wonder if they have the internet up there. I guess probably not, although on the other hand it is a satellite so you'd think it might not be so hard.
posted by koeselitz at 4:59 PM on December 18, 2012


posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

...and still an active astronaut so potentially able to climb to fourth or third on the list. Depends on whether she feels this command caps her career or not.

If current plans for a manned lunar orbiting mission occur in 2021 o4 22, if not sooner, I would not be surprised to see her on that flight and possibly commanding it. If she were 5-10 years younger, I'd bet on it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:40 PM on December 18, 2012

And see this metafilter thread: Space Jam from April 2011. Astronaut Cady Coleman in the Cupola with her flutes. More wild hair too.

How Fast is the ISS's Internet? It is 10mb/3mb.

It's easy to see the ISS pass overhead at dawn or dusk, even with city lights washing out the sky. It's brightly lit by the sun while the sky is dark. It moves about as fast as a jetliner across the sky. will map the next 10 days for any location: for instance, Chicago IL. There, on Dec 26 at 8:00PM, it will be about 40 degrees above the horizon, between 600 and 1000 miles away, and about as bright as Jupiter.
posted by jjj606 at 6:30 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]



I know, they look exactly like the one sitting in my stupid cube in my office right now. Weird to think that consumer technology is advanced enough that NASA can just buy stuff off the shelf.
posted by octothorpe at 6:39 PM on December 18, 2012

Wow, only read Commander William's bio if you're prepared to feel like a complete failure in life.
posted by octothorpe at 6:48 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

My interest in space is pretty much the exact opposite of The Whelk's and can pretty much be summed up on most days as "blergh, space." I really, really did not think I was going to get through 25 minutes of this and in fact, almost didn't even bother. I am so glad I did - that was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

I love the toilets, and for whatever reason it had never occurred to me that you could sleep, exercise and mount a laptop at ANY orientation in space. That's a little brain inverting before it becomes completely obvious.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:25 AM on December 19, 2012

Yeah, I am totally excited by this, but part of that is incredulity that human beings can put up with being in those situations. I mean, there are a lot of reasons why they'll never let me on the space station, but if I had to pick the biggest one, I'd say it's that I would probably spend at least the first two days screaming. Nothing but those thin walls and glass panels separating me from empty space and cold, lonely death? No thank you. It's kind of awe-inspiring to me that human beings can live like that so nonchalantly.
posted by koeselitz at 7:33 AM on December 19, 2012

Hey koeselitz, on Apollo 8, Williams Anders was mildly freaking out about the fact that anyone on board could open the hatch and kill them all. He wasn't going nuts or anything close, but it was floating around in the back of his mind. Possibly because the mission commander was throwing up and had diarrhea, some of which was drifting through the small cabin.

On one of the Shuttle missions, a 'star' Payload Specialist i.e. someone who really had no business being on a flight, but managed to muscle their way on via politics, was really interested in the side hatch. He kept asking about it and how anyone could open it. On subsequent flights, a lock was installed and only the Mission's Commander had the key.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just showed this to my 11 year old niece. She watched and watched and watched, muttering awesome under her breath every few minutes.
posted by michswiss at 2:52 AM on December 20, 2012

How separate are the Russian and American sides?
posted by smackfu at 2:53 PM on December 21, 2012

They're not really separate at all, smackfu -- there's no door or anything, just a change in size and technology. The FGB really is the functional "bridge" of the whole station. Given that there are no Shuttles coming and the crew come and go via Soyuz, the Russian end is sort of the current main entrance as well.

There's some tetchy territoriality issues -- the Russians like having Star City be the main interface with Station, and they operate the majority of vehicles (Soyuz and Progress) coming and going -- but at the crew level there's a lot of congenial team-building with cross-training on each other's equipment and in each others' countries. You basically don't fly unless you know a bit of English or Russian.

The essential political structure of the ISS is that you get to go if you contribute to the station in some fashion. The Russians contribute mainly flight hardware, while ESA has built most of the modules, and Japan of course has Kibo. Technically, the US "owns" the nodes (Destiny, Harmony and Unity) and the cupola, and I guess the main truss and solar, but although they are functional for science and operations, the "Western" side is primarily made up of European contributions and thus has an international flavor. There's almost nothing that any individual partner can do without involving one of the other partners -- for instance, the US has to rely on the Canadarm2 to fuss with the truss in any way. Although it does make sense to speak of a Russian side, it's mainly for historical reasons and the "American side" is terminology that is used but it's also much less explicitly American due to the ESA/JAXA contributions.

Anyway, thankfully, it bears little resemblance to the zone-separated space station in 2001, although it's quite interesting that Kubrick and Clarke predicted that fact.
posted by dhartung at 4:31 PM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

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