Here’s some Friday Fun for space geeks like myself. NASA astronauts earlier this week installed the Tranquility node, featuring a domed window giving astronauts a panoramic view of Earth, on the International Space Station. This picture, the first taken through Tranquility’s 6.5 foot by 5 foot cupola window 250 miles above the Earth’s surface, is of the Sahara Desert.
The window wouldn’t look out of place in the cockpits of Star Wars spaceships like the Millennium Falcon or TIE Fighter. Its intended purpose, NASA said, is to give astronauts a good, direct view of robots operating on the station’s exterior without having to rely on video feeds.
But the sightseeing function is an extra bonus. “Just the idea of providing this great view of the station and the world beneath us is going to be pretty great,” Shuttle Endeavour Commander George Zamka said. “That’s not what it’s for, but it will be spectacular.”
More pictures can be found at this link, or after the jump.