ISS Cupola: The Window to the World

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TwistedSifter

 

The Cupola is an ESA-built observatory module of the International Space Station (ISS). Its seven windows are used to conduct experiments, dockings and observations of Earth. It was launched aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-130 on 8 February 2010 and attached to the Tranquility (Node 3) module. The Cupola’s 80 cm (31 in) window is the largest ever used in space.

Its name derives from the Italian word cupola, which means “dome”. It is extremely important to the ISS astronauts, as previously they have been confined to looking out of small portholes or at best the 20-inch (50 cm) window in the US Destiny laboratory.

Specifications
Overall height: 1.5-metre (4.9 ft)
Maximum diameter: 2.95-metre (9.68 ft)
Launch mass: 1,805-kilogram (3,979 lb)
On Orbit mass: 1,880-kilogram (4,145 lb)
Dome: Forged Al 2219-T851
Skirt: Al 2219-T851
Windows: Fused silica and borosilicate glass
MDPS shutters: DuPont Kevlar/3M Nextel sheets
Electrical power:…

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