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The ISS’s Robotic Work Station is Beyond Sci-Fi

The ISS’s Robotic Work Station is Beyond Sci-Fi

There are only one set of windows that aren’t on Earth. Inside them sit astronauts gazing on our pale blue dot, using a workstation that should be the cover of a science fiction novel.

Cuola_LARGE Click to enlarge!

This is the interior of the cupola module of the International Space Station. It’s where the astronauts snap all those amazing images you see on Twitter (and where Commander Chris Hadfield became a household name). But it’s also where our extraterrestrials operate the station’s robotic arm, known as Canadarm2 (seen glowing red in the right window). With this sci-fi-looking workstation, astronauts use the Canadarm2 to assist in spacewalks and grapple incoming cargo vehicles. The arm originally helped put the station itself together.

Aside from the functionality of the module, what really grabs your attention are the colors. When the ISS’s interior lights turn off and the crew experiences “night,” blue and green lights flicker on to keep instruments illuminated. The cupola looks gorgeous and slightly creepy, as does the rest of the station. I suppose that the closest thing we have to science fiction should at least look the part.

IMAGE: NASA

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