People forget or did not know that once upon a time The Learning Channel was founded in 1972 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA as an informative/instructional network focused on providing real education through the medium of TV; it was distributed at no cost by NASA satellite. Then it was privatized in 1980 (Reaganism) and was then named the Appalachian Community Service Network. In November 1980 this name was changed to “The Learning Channel”, which was subsequently shortened to “TLC.” From then on we have a sad decline to the abomination of child and poverty exploitation of the TLC’s current hit freak show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. … In 1998 the channel began to distance itself from its original name “The Learning Channel”, and instead began to advertise itself only as “TLC”. So when Mitt Romney and the Republicans talk about how much better off PBS would be de-funded and privatized, remember what privatization did to TLC and how TLC went from NASA beaming information into student classrooms to the disgraceful programs it runs today (many of which exploit children). I am not saying we should not be capitalists and should be against the for profit model - but we should wake up from the delusion that the private sector can do it better. In some cases, the private sector does it worse and is worse.
Get out your iPhone or iPad and load this link in Safari. Welcome to Mars. A huge thank you to @DrewMarlowe for tweeting this and @JenSimmons for retweeting him. Update: Several folks have noted that Mount Sharp is missing from the photo and others were wondering how the photo itself was taken. It seems that Talking Points Memo has the answers to your questions, having interviewed the photographer who constructed the 360 degree view. Also, he is waiting on more imagery from NASA in order to clean up the image so as to make it more accurate and include some of the missing landscape features.
The Space Shuttle Discovery took its final flight this morning from Florida to Washington, DC on the back of one of NASA's 747 carrier planes used to carry the space shuttle's around the country. I went down to the National Mall this morning and stood in front of the Washington Monument to photograph its many fly-overs it took before making its final landing at Dulles International Airport where it will be put on display in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Below are what I think are some of my best shots I got with my 28-300mm lens (which on my crop sensor camera, turns into a 480mm zoom).
Approaching over the Lincoln Memorial.
Nice side shot with the NASA T-38 in frame.
Another good side shot.
Flying almost directly overhead.
Washington Monument flags in the foreground.
Coming out from behind the Washington Monument.
With the White House in the foreground.
Another pass with the White House in view.
Another good side shot from close underneath during its last pass.
And while I did not take this picture, I could not resist posting this awesome shot that was posted on the NASA HQ Flickr account:
Also, here is a video from my friend Ted Severson shot from the steps of the U.S. Capital building this morning:
Finally, here is a slideshow of the entire 284 photos I took and posted on Flickr:
By Michael König:
Time lapse sequences of photographs taken by the crew of expeditions 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011, who to my knowledge shot these pictures at an altitude of around 350 km. All credit goes to them. I intend to upload a FullHD-version presently. HD, refurbished, smoothed, retimed, de-noised, de-flickered, cut, etc. All in all I tried to keep the looks of the material as original as possible, avoided adjusting the colors and the like, since in my opinion the original footage itself already has an almost surreal and aesthetically visual nature. Visit the video's Vimeo page for a music, image, and location colophon.