On the space station will be dome for outdoor surveillance


At the beginning of 2010 to the International Space Station will be put into operation a new survey module, named Tranquility ("Serenity"). One of the features of the module is a special panoramic dome with multiple windows through which one can observe the Earth, space and the ISS itself directly.

Dome, called the Cupola, designed as a platform for observing the external works such as robotic surgery, spacewalks and docking with the spacecraft. Computer workstations in the dome will give astronauts full control over the automated robotic arm, while through the windows you can directly observe the crane in action.

Moreover, the dome will be a place for rest astronauts. It is important for astronauts sometimes just to examine the Earth through the porthole. It helps to mentally relax and reduce the psychological pressure caused by a closed space station remote from the home planet for many miles.

Until now, an external review of the space station was limited to small portholes or at best a 20-inch window in the U.S. laboratory Destiny. The dome is designed to significantly enhance the ability of external observation.

After a 80-centimeter window at the end of the dome astronauts will be able to watch the stunning panoramic views of the Earth, take pictures and shoot video on large surface areas. Then the astronauts will be able to share what photos and videos with earthlings, placing them, for example, the Internet.

In addition to expanding the viewing angle new canopy can help to make some discoveries. Photographing the planet at different angles, the astronauts will help scientists to look at the Earth at angles that are not available satellites. Observations are needed to better understand some of the processes, such as the melting of glaciers, the phosphorescent clouds, dust storms and the structure of the centers of hurricanes. Receive a daily hot news - download news ticker, be aware of world events.

Original: Science.nasa.gov

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