Thursday, April 26, 2012

Space Posse


NASA's Spaceflight Awareness site changed their directory structures, and updated their collection of Astronaut crew portraits. Bloggers, this is why it pays to run annual Quality Control checks on all links... especially government ones! ;)

Oddly, all the Space Shuttle posters have disappeared at at time when one might think they were hot products, but they have now almost completely pared down availability of mission portraits to the ISS Expeditions.

NASA Crew Posters
Space Flight Awareness - OLD

The last time I checked these pages, STS-134 had just been featured, and discussions about the possibility about a further Shuttle mission STS-135 were underway! The rest is history.

Some shuttle mission photographs are available on their other links, but I can no longer find the official crew portraits unless I go to each individual "In Depth Mission Coverage" link within NASA's Shuttle Mission Index.

Astronaut Corps Posters
Space Flight Awareness - NEW

Interestingly, one used to have to scroll to the very end of a horrendously long page for high-resolution posters of entire Astronaut Corps in 2002, 2004 & 2007. These have been moved to the top, so I guess they aren't hiding them anymore!

Of course, ISS Expedition Crew photographs will continue onward, but it chokes one up to think the last Space Shuttle posters are off the grid, because they are now part of history.

ISS Pirates of the Caribbean Takeoff
My New Favorite

Anyhow, portraits always include the entire crew, mission insignia and many have a theme associated with their mission. Over the past few years, it's become rather a modern custom to associate some crews with popular movie posters – such as the Rat Pack, Reservoir Dogs, Ocean's 11, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, etc.

ISS Expedition 16
My All-Time Favorite

Perhaps the most treasured framed poster now in my home is the Expedition 16 poster, which used The Matrix as the crew theme. I'm more of a Trekkie than a Neo-phyte, but I thought this was such a great design, and Peggy Whitson (astronaut in a leather skirt alert!) is SO my hero.

Of course, if you like the irreverent lowbrow stuff, you can also check out Gizmodo's not-so-serious NASA poster gallery... [unsanctioned link, but SFW!]