Ride along on a spacewalk
April 15, 2015 3:30 PM   Subscribe

This is a video from a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, shot with a GoPro camera and its fucking gorgeous. Here's background on how it happened and what's going on in the video.

This footage was taken by U.S. astronaut Terry Virts during a spacewalk on the International Space Station on February 25, 2015. Virts and fellow astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore routed a series of cables in preparation for the arrival of two International Docking Adapters later in 2015. Virts also lubricated elements at the latching end of the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm while Wilmore prepares the Tranquility module for the relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the arrival of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) later this year.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (46 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
Awesome shots, but I can't believe the battery lasted ten whole minutes.
posted by Sphinx at 3:33 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK this is so cool it is making me ANGRY
posted by poffin boffin at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sound in space?! FAKE!

Seriously, though, that's amazing footage. I haven't looked at any space-based movies for a long while, but that looks 'realer' than anything I remember seeing. I keep trying to find an excuse to buy a gopro, but 'spacewalk' probably isn't it.
posted by Huck500 at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


How did they capture sound in outer space?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:57 PM on April 15, 2015


you could raise enough revenue to fund a full mission to Europa if you'd just make it a reliable streaming service by subscription.
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:58 PM on April 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


How did they capture sound in outer space?

I'm guessing that vibrations conducted through the solid materials the astronaut was in contact with, and these vibrations were picked up by the mic.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's explained in the second link that the sound is vibrations coming from the suit. At around 1:30 it seems like you're hearing the sound from the spinning dish, but they say this is from a fan on the suit.

I'm more surprised the camera didn't overheat.
posted by justkevin at 4:00 PM on April 15, 2015


Has anyone told GoPro that their product has been tested in vacuum?
posted by localroger at 4:04 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


At 8:20, there's enough lens flare that J J Abrahams would be satisfied.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:14 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


From the second link:
National Geographic: Why use the GoPros now?

Huot: The cameras are actually from our Russian colleagues; we don’t have any GoPros. So, they let us borrow them and take ‘em out. We don’t have any other capability yet to take an HD camera outside. The astronauts always have helmet cams, but they’re low-def, about 20 years old.



NG: Are there any plans to get GoPros and start sending them out in space?

Huot: I don’t know if it would be a GoPro or not, but we’ve been looking at it for a while, trying to get some type of high-def camera up there. Not only because it looks cool, but you can get engineering analysis video – there are a lot of advantages to getting higher-def video. And the rest of it is really cool-looking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:15 PM on April 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


One of these days soon they are going to get the gopro successors small enough that they will mount one on Tom Brady's face mask and we will see what he sees going through his downfield reads while two tons of humans grapple in front of him. This was the best clip I have seen since that guy was doing the cross country mountain bike race in Africa and an antelope wiped out the biker right in front of him.

Crazy hartebeest clip. The wikipedia page says the hartebeest can be ferocious when provoked. It omits the weird hartebeest logic where biking in their neighborhood is a provocation.
posted by bukvich at 4:23 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would sacrifice every single one of you to be able to go into space.

...

Wait, did I say that out loud? I'm just kidding. Heh. Heh heh.
posted by Justinian at 4:40 PM on April 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


Now imagine this footage on an oculus rift. Then we make all the politicians watch it. "Look at that you sonofabitch!" (To quote Edgar Mitchell.)
posted by Brodiggitty at 4:42 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's ridiculous that I'm disappointed it's "only" 1280x720.
posted by straight at 4:47 PM on April 15, 2015


Wait, did I say that out loud? I'm just kidding. Heh. Heh heh.

on the most average of days i would hurl a busload of babies into a volcano for a single sour cream timbit
posted by poffin boffin at 4:49 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's ridiculous that I'm disappointed it's "only" 1280x720.

Plus some kind of weird aliasing
posted by anazgnos at 4:51 PM on April 15, 2015




I loath myself for every decision I've ever made that did not lead me towards becoming a ship captain on high seas or an awesome astronaut.
posted by barchan at 5:04 PM on April 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


you could raise enough revenue to fund a full mission to Europa if you'd just make it a reliable...

WE'VE BEEN OVER THIS! GAH! RRRR!
posted by hal9k at 5:12 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


This seems like an opportune time to remind everyone that there are a set of high def cameras mounted on the ISS that can be watched 24/7.
posted by tylermoody at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


So what's the spinning disc thing for?
posted by odinsdream at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2015


Never mind..
posted by odinsdream at 5:45 PM on April 15, 2015


From the second link:
NG: What is that little spinning satellite dish in the first spacewalk doing?

Huot: That’s a device called RapidScat. It’s a scatterometer that measures wind speed and direction over the ocean, using radar pulses that are reflected from the ocean surface. It’s used for things like weather forecasting, monitoring hurricanes, and large-scale climate changes. It’s doing that all the time, and is a fairly recent addition, too – it just flew up there in the fall of 2014.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


We've seen the videos of parachuters dropping their GoPros, but I don't think it's gonna survive a fall from *this* high up... (would it even "fall", or would it just orbit as space junk?)
posted by mrbill at 6:27 PM on April 15, 2015


So, this feeling of I don't even know what -- fear of heights or agoraphobia? I guess I would've washed out of astronaut school right away, if I can't watch the video without heart palpitations.

Wow.
posted by allthinky at 6:34 PM on April 15, 2015


(would it even "fall", or would it just orbit as space junk?)

Considering gravity's pull expires far closer to earth than where they are, I kinda doubt the camera would fall.
posted by item at 6:36 PM on April 15, 2015


Whenever I see pictures of the ISS, it seems like such a crazy kludged-together hodgepodge of junk and bits that I'm amazed it even works.

Oh, and the view is breathtaking.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


" (would it even "fall", or would it just orbit as space junk?)"
" Considering gravity's pull expires far closer to earth than where they are"

Gravity's pull does not expire. Notice that Earth's gravity keeps the moon going round, and the moon is much further away.

Objects in orbit ARE falling. They are being pulled straight toward the centre of the earth. However, they are moving so fast laterally that they don't hit the ground. Imagine swinging a ball that's tied to a string. It's always "falling" toward you (pulled by the string) but it never hits you, it just keeps going around...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:42 PM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


" So what's the spinning disc thing for?"

That's the planet on which we live.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:44 PM on April 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


We've seen the videos of parachuters dropping their GoPros, but I don't think it's gonna survive a fall from *this* high up... (would it even "fall", or would it just orbit as space junk?

Well technically it's falling and missing the ground already. Seriously though the ISS orbits low enough where atmospheric drag is still a very real concern, requiring the occasional re-boost back into its original orbit. (You can watch a very cool video of what a boost looks like from inside the ISS -- the station moves, the astronauts/cosmonauts do not.) Drag is enough of a concern that the giant solar panels are rotated into a more "aerodynamic" configuration when the ISS is on the night side of the planet.

The camera's orbit, just like the ISS, will eventually degrade from atmospheric drag. Something with as little surface area as the camera will take a very long time to deorbit but drag will eventually pull it out of orbit.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:44 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


So, basically, we have proven that we can record your screams in space, though other astronauts might not be able to heard them straight away.

:)my idea of making a found footage space horror film with screams is completely feasible now.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 6:57 PM on April 15, 2015



So what's the spinning disc thing for?


space is buffering
posted by poffin boffin at 7:11 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Space! Space! We're in Space! SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!
posted by edbles at 7:28 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Their life on the ship video is also awesome.
posted by edbles at 7:35 PM on April 15, 2015


Having just read The Martian by Andy Weir this past weekend, I am not put off by how far out in space this video is, but rather I find the nearness of it to the planet I was born on and live in comforting.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:37 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The camera is small but it's also very light, so its orbit would decay rapidly. There's a good chance it would reach the ground intact, as did many of the lighter contents of the orbiter Columbia, if it slows down fast enough in thin air to be going slow enough in the thicker air to avoid the thin blowtorch of re-entry heat.
posted by localroger at 7:49 PM on April 15, 2015


There's a longer version of the video in the first link (a little over an hour): here.
posted by teraflop at 7:52 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


what a boost looks like from inside the ISS

And - expanding on my earlier comment - that video also reminded me that in spite of the ISS seeming such a cobbled-together patchwork, they're just wearing polo shirts and slacks...IN SPACE. It blows my freakin' mind. But in a good way.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:17 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Love the video, especially the juxtaposition of such mind blowing technology with the fact that they still have to tie crap onto things with old school knots and rope so it doesn't float off.
posted by dazed_one at 8:18 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


it seems like such a crazy kludged-together hodgepodge of junk

it's actually a crazy kludged-together hodgepodge of super high-precision custom manufactured and over-engineered parts and then it's not actually a hodge-podge but each component has to be tested for all the many mechanical, radiative, heat, and electrical failure modes both individually and for it's impact on the whole station.

but at least it doesn't have to be aerodynamic.
posted by ennui.bz at 4:18 AM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The neatly crazy thing about the ISS is that a lot of the modules were mated for the first time in space. That's some damn fine engineering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:41 AM on April 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


The cute little rapidly spinning RapidScat dish is covered in more detail on this video. Particularly cool highlights are that it went up on the Dragon, it was installed robotically - no spacewalk required - and it was cobbled together at short notice from spare parts...
posted by Devonian at 5:06 AM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


That’s a device called RapidScat.

I'm surprised they didn't give it a bacronym like DIARHHEA or SQUITS.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2015


super high-precision custom manufactured and over-engineered parts and then it's not actually a hodge-podge

On a rational level I know that, and agree about the fantastic engineering...but still it looks like no more than a rough proof-of-concept prototype.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:16 AM on April 16, 2015


NASA needs to engineer some damn cable management is what we're saying.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:30 PM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


As far as international space stations go, it pretty much is a proof-of-concept prototype.
posted by odinsdream at 6:15 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


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