“Ground control to Major Tom.” As our countdown to the Cosmos issue launch draws near, we’ve provided you with some classic cosmic jams that can accompany you through this vast, interstellar, ever-expanding combination of space, time, matter and energy we call the universe, at least through what we know of it so far…
1. Frank Sinatra – Fly Me to The Moon
2. Parliament – Mothership Connection
3. Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine
4. David Bowie – Space Oddity
Ready to don your astro-suit? Wired.com honored space shuttle Endeavour’s return to Earth in 2009 with their pick of “10 of the coolest tracks about astronauts.“
What are your favorite interstellar tracks? We’re compiling a running playlist for release with the forthcoming Glimpse Cosmos issue…
Tourists beware. That old 35 mm slung around your neck, those sensible-yet-stylish walking shoes, that tote bag you’re toting—it’s all useless. And unless you’ve got a cold $25 million tucked safely in your wallet, I’d suggest maybe catching a movie instead. One thing’s for certain—bunkering down in a dark theater and staring for 80 odd minutes at a big screen is bound to be more visually exciting than the sights of Dr. C.J. Wallington’s vacation destination.
Image courtesy of Flickr member: alicemariedesign
Wallington is, “as far as he knows, the world’s first university space tourism development teacher.” And in Glimpse’s forthcoming Cosmos issue, he wants to make a few things perfectly clear.
1) Everything you picture about space tourism is wrong.
2) If/when those non-magnates and heiresses among us get to enjoy a holiday in the stars, there still really won’t be much to see up there.
3) As far as eye-opening experiences go, no others could possibly compare.
Open your eyes to a real view of space tourism in March, 2010.
Countdown to “Cosmos” launch in 10..9..8..
Remember Han Solo’s cockpit in the Star Wars Millennium Falcon starship? Here’s a picture of a model in the collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to refresh your memory:
Star Wars' Millennium Falcon starship
That’s the cockpit on the left. The pilot sits surrounded by windows that provide an awesome view of space.
Now, life in space imitates art. The astronauts of today are emulating the science fiction of last century, with a new 360-degree-view observation “Cupola” being added to the International Space Station (ISS).
Artist's rendering of the International Space Station's new "Cupola"
The module will give astronauts a better view of Earth and the cosmos, which they will share through a website, The Gateway to Astronoaut Photography.
“Crews tell us that Earth gazing is important to them,” says Julie Robinson, the ISS Program Scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. “The astronauts work hard up there and are away from their families for a long time. Observing the Earth and the stars helps relax and inspire them.”
This could [also] lead to scientific discoveries:
“By photographing oblique views with different sun angles, the astronauts can use the Cupola to give scientists a view of the Earth that is not available from satellites,” she adds. Astronaut photographs of Earth have been used to understand Earth processes such as melting of icebergs, noctilucent clouds, dust storms, and the structure of hurricane eyes. (source: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/26jun_cupola.htm )
“Space Station Room with a View,” Science @ NASA
“Endeavor to Deliver a Room with a View,” NASA.gov
The Gateway to Astronaut Photography
Millennium Falcon backstory