Dear Commons Community,
This video is a time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.
For those of you interested in space travel, The Spaceship Company (TSC), the aerospace production joint venture of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, achieved a significant milestone in making commercial space travel a reality with yesterday’s opening of its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH, at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Commenting on the grand opening, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson said, “Today marks another important step along the road to opening space for everyone. We’re extremely proud of the new FAITH building, which is the world’s first facility dedicated to producing private, commercial manned space vehicles. From this hangar, the talented team at The Spaceship Company will be at the forefront of making space access safe, reliable and affordable.” Projections are that a space trip will cost about $200,000. and might be available as early as 2015. The TSC website indicates that 453 space tourists have already signed up.