Photographer Edgar Martins’ book, The Rehearsal of Space and the Poetic Impossibility to Manage the Infinite, is a must-have for space enthusiasts. But for those without the hard copy, the European Space Agency has released a series of amazing images from it, some of them has not published online previously. Take a look at them here.
Edgar Martins’ clean, no-frills photos — taken with analogue, wide film cameras — document the specialised installations and equipment needed to prepare for space missions and recreate orbital conditions down on Earth. A comprehensive photographic survey of the European Space Agency’s various facilities, the results are an amazing set of photographs straight from the future, but living with us. Here are some of our favourites.
Aluminium Honeycomb Assembly, Material and Components Laboratory (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Astronauts’ dressing room, where the Sokol spacesuits are stored (Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, Russian Federation)
Cabling used during testing of ESA’s BepiColombo spacecraft.
Columbus Training Simulator (ESA-EAC, Cologne, Germany)
Entrance to Compact Payload Test Range for antenna testing (CPTR) (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Helmet of a SCAPE suit used by the propulsion crew during spacecraft fuelling operations (CSGEurope’s Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana)
Horn of Acoustic Test Facility (IABG, Ottobrunn, Germany)
Moon rock of volcanic origin found by Eugene Cernan of Apollo 17 in 1972, and on loan from NASA at Space Expo, Noordwijk, for the past 10 years (Space Expo, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) — thermal insulation used on spacecraft, Material and Components Laboratory (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Assembly of the Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument, one of four instruments on the ESA-NASA James Webb Space Telescope (Airbus Defence and Space, Ottobrunn ISO Class 5 Integration Facility, Germany)
Mockup of Node 2 or Harmony (the ‘utility module’ of the International Space Station) in the Erasmus high bay (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
S5 payload preparation complex — spacecraft fuelling bay (CSG-Europe’s Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana)
Space glove (Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, Russian Federation)
Stainless steel refector, Material and Components Laboratory (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Mobile gantry for the Vega launcher, seen from below (CSG-Europe’s Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana)
Interior of Large Space Simulator vacuum chamber (ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
Pictures: Edgar Martins