Though dark clouds limit the visibility of much of the eastern side (top of frame) of California’s Bay Area, lights expose most of the region’s highly populated areas. From 220 miles above Earth, the photo was recorded with a still camera equipped with a 180-mm lens on Dec. 26 by one of the crew members onboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station.
Palm Islands and World Islands (NASA, International Space Station, 11/07/10) Originally uploaded by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Man-made archipelagos near Dubai, United Arab Emirates, are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 25 crew member on the International Space Station, flying at 220 miles above Earth. The municipality of Dubai is the largest city of the Persian Gulf emirate of the same name, and has built a global reputation for large-scale developments and architectural works. Among the most visible of these developments — particularly from the perspective of astronauts onboard the ISS — are three man-made archipelagos. The two Palm Islands — Palm Jumeirah to the left of center, and Palm Jebel Ali, just to the right of center, appear as stylized palm trees when viewed from above. The World Islands (near left edge) evoke a rough map of the world from an air- or space-borne perspective. The Palm Jumeirah project began in 2001 and required more than 50 million cubic meters of dredged sand to raise the islands above the Persian Gulf sea level. Construction of the Palm Jumeirah islands was completed in 2006; they are now being developed for residential and commercial housing and infrastructure. Creation of the World Islands was begun in 2003 and completed in 2008, using 320 million cubic meters of sand and 37 million tons of rock for the surrounding 27 kilometer-long protective breakwater.
“The Mini Research Module-2, known as “Poisk,” which means “explore” in Russian, will deliver 1,800 pounds of cargo to the station. Poisk is scheduled to automatically dock to the station’s Zvezda Service Module at 9:44 a.m.
“The 8-ton module is scheduled to launch at 8:22 a.m. Nov. 10 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The combination docking port and airlock will ride atop a Soyuz booster rocket. The Soyuz launch will not be broadcast on NASA TV.
“The module will be used as an additional docking port for Russian vehicles, as an airlock for Russian-based spacewalks and as a platform for external science experiments. Its first use will be as a docking port during the relocation of a Soyuz crew vehicle in January.”
“WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-134 to the International Space Station. The flight will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, to the station. The AMS is a state-of-the-art cosmic ray particle physics detector designed to examine fundamental issues about matter and the origin and structure of the universe.”
“CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew launched at 6:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will deliver the final segment to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency‘s Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station.
“Endeavour’s 16-day mission includes five spacewalks and the installation of two platforms outside the Japanese module. One platform is permanent and will allow experiments to be directly exposed to space. The other is an experiment storage pallet that will be detached and returned with the shuttle. During the mission, Kibo’s robotic arm will transfer three experiments from the pallet to the exposed platform. Future experiments also can be moved to the platform from the inside of the station using the laboratory’s airlock.”
“Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Mike Barratt of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will undock the Soyuz TMA-14 return spacecraft, from the Zvezda service module and fly a short distance to the Pirs docking compartment. The flight is expected to take about 30 minutes.”
“WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Students from the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Atlanta will participate in an out-of-this-world learning experience on Tuesday, May 5, when they receive a call from astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The downlink will air live worldwide on NASA Television and also be available on NASA’s Web site. This is the second event of its kind to be held in the state of Georgia.
A live in-flight education downlink with the crew will take place between 11:15 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. EDT at the Fernbank Science Center in DeKalb County. The 20-minute question-and-answer event will feature astronauts Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata, who are flight engineers aboard the Expedition 19 mission to the station.”
“On May 27, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk will launch on a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They will arrive at the station on May 29 to join the station’s Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The six men will form the Expedition 20 crew, the station’s first six-person crew. This mission also will be the first time crew members are aboard representing all five International Space Station partners.”
“They are scheduled to dock with the station at 8:14 a.m. Saturday, March 28. Padalka will serve as commander of Expeditions 19 and 20 aboard the station. Barratt will serve as a flight engineer for those two missions. Padalka and Barratt’s other crewmate is Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He arrived to the station March 17 on space shuttle Discovery.”