Today, we have a little blast of history. This image was taken in February of 1997 during STS-82. This mission was the 22nd flight for the Space Shuttle Discovery and, as depicted in its name, the 82 mission of the now-retired space shuttle program. The primary objective for this mission was to service Hubble – the third of five surveying missions. STS-82 replaced two old pieces of Hubble equipment with two newer instruments ready to bring the next bout of Hubble images to the scientific community and to the public. In addition, the astronauts serviced and replaced a few other instruments and hardware.

This image was taken by Gregory Harbaugh during the second spacewalk of the repair mission. The astronaut in the image is Joseph Tanner; you can see his mission checklist attached to his left arm as well as Gregory in the reflection of the visor. Just over Joseph’s left arm, you can see the aft section of the Discovery. A little further in the background you can see the Earth. Even further in the background, you see the Sun providing some intense and dramatic light.

In space, the Sun (and the ‘sky’ in general) looks very different because there isn’t an atmosphere to scatter its light. Because of this, the sun is very bright and the surrounding sky is very dark.


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