As the UAE prepares to blast its first astronaut into the skies, and the world celebrates International Day of Human Space Flight, these images from Taschen’s 60 Years in Space remind us of the heights that humankind has soared to.
Lightning strikes the launchpad of space shuttle Challenger on August 30, 1983, prior to STS-8, the first pre-dawn launch of the space shuttle programme. Launchpads are surrounded by tall lightning towers and other conductive systems. These create a giant Faraday Cage, diverting the electric charge of strike well away from the spacecraft.
Out of this world
The International space station has been continuously occupied since November 2000. Its habitable volume is equal to a Boeing 747’s. An international crew of six people live and work while travelling at 8km per second, orbiting Earth once every 90 minutes. This is the single-most complex and ambitious engineering effort in history, even when compared to Apollo.
In the sea
Navy divers prepare to retrieve the Gemini 6A crew on December 16, 1965. Green dye was released by the spacecraft on splashdown, making it easier to be spotted from the air.
Art meets life
Robert McCall’s mid-1970s prediction of NASA’s space shuttle building a modular space station, is close to what finally happned, except that the real shuttles only flew one at a time
The quiet place
NASA’s Anechoic Chambers are among the quietest places anywhere on earth. Walls absorb almost all stray echoes, whether sound or radio. This 1972 model of a shuttle, being tested for radio characteristics, has thruster pods on the wingtips.
NASA scientists are confident that Buzz Aldrin’s boot prints from Apollo 11 are still as sharp and distinct today as when they first stamped down in 1969, because the moon has no air or rain to erode them.
Apollo 9 CM pilot Dave Scott emerges from the hatch, testing some of the space suit systems that will be used for lunar operations. The photo was taken from the hatch of the docked LM by Rusty Schweickart in March 1969