CUPOLA ~ A window to the universe
A tribute to the space shuttle ENDEAVOUR

In its 25th and final flight to the International Space Station.
On Feb. 8, 2010 Endeavour shuttle mission STS 130
delivered a third connecting module to the ISS (international space station)
the Tranquility node and its Cupola, a dome-shaped extension from Tranquility made up of seven windows. The Cupola is a magnificent window to the world.

This art work is a tribute to the mission and my passion for science and space.
The tree of life connects by its intertwined roots, the Cupola’s six windows
and the ketubah itself – The rounded seventh window.

Elements in the art:
The unity tree – Adam and Eve
The tree of life
Bliss, Children, Joy
Knowledge Tree
Eternity Tree

Made by the Italian Space Agency,
the ‘Cupola’ is a room with a view, to be used as a control room for robotics.
a mini control tower sticking out from the Tranquility node,
as opposed to the other station windows,
which are flush with the station’s exterior.
Its seven windows – one in the center and six around the sides – will provide
the only views of the outside of the station from the inside,
in particular the Russian and Japanese sections.
And with the station just about finished, there’s more to see out there than ever.
“The ‘Cupola’, attached to the nadir side of the space station,
gives a panoramic view of our beautiful planet.”
(Expedition 25 commander Doug Wheelock. )

cupola-sahara-desert_smallIn the first image taken through the International Space Station’s new seven-windowed Cupola,
visible on Earth below is the Sahara Desert spread across the array of windows.
The Cupola will house controls for the station’s robotics,
allowing the crew members to operate the robotic arms and monitor other exterior activities.
mage credit: NASA Feb. 17, 2010