Eye Candy Overdose

By DeusExMacintosh

From one extreme of human engineering achievement, to another.

The picture was taken by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli as he left the International Space Station in May in a Soyuz capsule to return to Earth.

Safety procedures mean the Russian vehicle would never normally be in transit when a shuttle is present.

It makes this the first-ever image of an American orbiter docked to the ISS…

The pictures were acquired on 23 May but were only released by the US space agency (Nasa) on Tuesday. They had been eagerly awaited by space fans.

Nespoli had spent a lot of time during his 159-day stay at the station taking pictures of Earth and life aboard the international outpost. Many of these images were posted on his mission Flickr account. It was widely expected therefore that the European Space Agency astronaut would get some excellent shots during the unique departure.

Enthusiasts on the ground with telescopes routinely try to snap a shuttle attached to the ISS, and some of the results have been very impressive. But none of these pictures compares to the majestic portrait acquired by Nespoli so close to the orbiting complex.

The timing and subject are also perfect. Endeavour is seen here making her final sortie into orbit, making the last big US assembly item delivery – a $2bn particle physics experiment known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The seven-tonne machine now sits on top of the platform.

BBC News


  1. Jarrah
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    What is it with the BBC and their decision to change acronyms to proper nouns? NASA becomes Nasa, NATO becomes Nato, UNESCO becomes Unesco. It really gets my goat.

    Yes, I need to go into grammar-nazi rehab.

    Also, amazing picture! I would give my left arm to get into space.

  2. Davo
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    From one extreme of human engineering achievement, to another.

    So what happened to the pic of the 6 yr old “beauty queen”?

  3. Posted June 9, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    [email protected] – I smell a spell chucker that forces characters to lower case after the first one if there is no space. I suppose if you saw Mcintyre (no space after Mc) and Mc Intyre (space after Mc), then my suspicious would be confirmed, otherwise not.

    (I wrote a routine to handle special name starts, in a field for given names, but O’hailpin the footballer would always have been rendered O’Hailpin however you rendered it).

    Grammar nazi? You’re among LOTS of friends here.

  4. Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] What [email protected] said.

    The photo is spectacular.

    (I want my O’Neill colony!)

  5. Jarrah
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think so, Dave Bath. The BBC is hardly likely to let something like that slip. Anyway, it doesn’t apply to three-letter initialisms (eg ISS), so it can’t be “lower case after the first one if there is no space”.

    No, it’s a deliberate editorial policy. And I don’t like it. *pouts*

  6. AJ
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    It’s whether it’s pronounced as a word. The Guardian and some academic journals also do it that way. The NYT does if the acronym is over a certain length, e.g. Patriot Act.

  7. Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I’m sure AJ is correct. Indeed, I’m sure I’ve been instructed to use the ‘lower case if pronounced as a word’ when copy-editing for some journal or another (can’t remember which). I don’t like it either, but then I don’t like the Oxford comma… and was forced to employ it while editing several issues of an Oxford-based law journal.

  8. Posted June 10, 2011 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    So what happened to the pic of the 6 yr old “beauty queen”?

    That’s an achievement of chemistry, rather than engineering… oh, no I spoke too soon. It seems the story is a fake too!

  9. Rafe
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    You call that eye candy?
    THIS is eye candy!


  10. Posted June 13, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    That’s aweseom, Rafe. In it’s traditional sense.

    Though I’m a little bit worried about that photo of the golf course at the Llao Llao hotel… surely THE SHINING isn’t a particularly good place for an architect to take inspiration!

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