Space selfie

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Buzz Aldrin took the first EVA selfie in 1966.

A space selfie is a selfie (self-portrait photograph typically posted on social media sites[1]) that is taken in space. This include selfies taken by astronauts[2] (also known as astronaut selfies[3]), machines[4] (also known as space robot selfies[5] and rover selfies[6]) and by an indirect method.[7]

Astronauts[edit]

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide took a space selfie in September 2012

The first known space selfie was taken by Buzz Aldrin during the Gemini 12 mission.[8]

The extra-vehicular activity (EVA) equipment used by astronauts during spacewalks contains a specially designed camera for photography in outer space. The main purpose of the EVA camera is to take pictures of the subjects related to the missions.[9]

There have been many space selfies, some of which use the visor of another astronaut's helmet as the mirror. Early space selfies after the word "selfie" was first used in 2002[1] without assistance from another astronaut included Donald Pettit and Stephen Robinson. Pettit took one during the Expedition 6 in January 2003.[10] Robinson took his during the repair of the Space Shuttle Discovery[11] on August 3, 2005, as part of the STS-114 mission.[12]

Another notable space selfie was taken by Aki Hoshide during the six-hour, 28-minute spacewalk on September 5, 2012.[13][14] Hoshide's photo became a viral phenomenon after Commander Chris Hadfield uploaded the photo to his Twitter account on September 30, 2013.[15] Coincidentally, Oxford University Press, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary, announced in November 2013 that "selfie" was the word of the year for 2013.[16] The picture topped many selfie lists of the year.[17][18] Another space selfie of Hoshide also showed up on Instagram and appeared on a list of top selfies of 2013.[19]

Machines[edit]

The raw image of the first space selfie taken by the Curiosity rover

Space selfies can be dated back to 1976 when the lander of the Viking 2 mission took the photo of its deck after landing on Mars; however they were not considered by Discovery News as a true selfie in its list of top 10 space robot selfies. In 2010, IKAROS launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) included two wireless cameras that were ejected out of the spacecraft for the sole purpose of taking "hand free" space selfies. A blog entry about the photos was posted in 2010 and the link was posted on Twitter in 2013.[5]

Curiosity rover[edit]

Space selfie of Curiosity rover

Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, was equipped with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera. It can maneuver its robotic arm and turn the attached camera around to take its head shots.[20] Discovery News described the maneuver as the way to take a truly authentic selfie and gave it the title King of Selfies in 2013.[5]

The first ever space selfie on another planet was taken by the Curiosity rover[21][22] on September 7, 2012 based on the local time at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the base of the operations in Pasadena, California. It was taken while the clear dust cover of the lens was closed giving a blurry image.[23] The image was slightly modified and posted on its Facebook account on September 8, 2012 with the message:[24]

Hello, Gorgeous! Snapped this self portrait while inspecting my MAHLI camera with its dust cover intentionally left on. This was a test to make sure the cover, its hinge the area it sweeps when it opens are clear of debris.

— NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover, http://www.facebook.com/MarsCuriosity

On November 19, 2013,[25] one day after Oxford announced that "selfie" was the word of the year,[1] the @MarsCuriosity Twitter account posted a space selfie with the message:[26]

Oh, @OxfordWords... Need an illustration for #WOTYselfie? For your consideration. pic.twitter.com/EKNafzYsyp

— @MarsCuriosity, http://www.twitter.com/MarsCuriosity

Indirect methods[edit]

In the case that a person cannot be in outer space, there is an alternative method that was proposed to take space selfies indirectly. This has been promoted as part of the crowdfunding efforts for the Planetary Resources's ARKYD mission. The ARKYD "space selfie" method will allow donors to upload their own photos to the telescope orbiting the Earth. The telescope will have a robotic arm equipped with a camera and a small screen to display the picture of the donor on one surface of the telescope. The on-screen image of the donor will be visible to the lower part of the camera with the Earth as the background, allowing a space selfie to be taken.[27][28]

A similar service was launched in 2014 by Belgian startup SpaceBooth.[29] The SpaceBooth Low Earth Orbit pico-satellite will project uploaded images in front of a transparent window and then take a picture of the projection with space in the background. The space selfie will then be sent back to the Earth.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fears, Danika (18 November 2013). "Oxford Dictionaries names 'selfie' word of the year". TODAY News. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "The 50 Best Space Photos of 2013". AOL Weather. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Borkar, Neha (21 November 2013). "Top 10 Most Popular Selfies". India Times. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ancient Mars lake may have supported life". Associated Press. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c O'Neill, Ian (5 December 2013). "Top 10 Space Robot 'Selfies': Photos". Discovery News. pp. 1, 2,10. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Mann, Adam (2 November 2012). "High-Res Curiosity Rover Self-Portrait Is Mind-Blowing". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Howell, Elizabeth (11 June 2013). "'Space Selfie' Telescope Could Hunt Alien Planets ... If It Raises A Cool $2M". Universe Today. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Did you know I took the first space selfie during Gemini 12 mission in 1966? BEST SELFIE EVER". Buzz Aldrin (Twitter). Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "IMAGE: Nikon F5 EVA Camera New Space Walk Camera". NASA. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Howell, Elizabeth (3 October 2013). "Best Ever Astronaut 'Selfies'". Universe Today. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Self-portraits and social media: The rise of the 'selfie'". BBC News Magazine. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "STS-114 Shuttle Mission Imagery S114-E-6338". NASA. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "International Space Station Imagery ISS032-E-025258". NASA. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Day, Elizabeth (13 July 2013). "How selfies became a global phenomenon". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chris Hadfield Tweets A Selfie In Space (PHOTO)". The Huffington Post Canada. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Hui, Sylvia (19 November 2013). "Oxford Dictionaries: 'Selfie' is word of the year". The Detroit News. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Seven of the best selfies you will see today: As selfie is named word of the year, we round up seven of the best". Metro. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Obama caught snapping 'funeral selfie': Craziest selfies of all time". NY Daily News. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Gordon, Naomi (11 December 2013). "8 surprising celebrity selfies: Pope Francis, Darth Vader and the Obamas". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  20. ^ Madrigal, Alexis (10 September 2012). "Mars Curiosity Rover Takes a Selfie". The Atlantic. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  21. ^ Trei, Michael (10 September 2012). "Pictured: Curiosity takes first ever Mars 'selfie'". DVICE. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Kalinchuk, Andrew (9 September 2012). "Mars rover, Curiosity, takes a self-portrait and shares it with the world". Digital Trends. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "Rover Takes Self Portrait (ID#: PIA16149)". NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Facebook status". NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "@MarsCuriosity Twitter status". Twitter. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "‘Selfie’: the interplanetary Word of the Year 2013". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Planetary Resources raises $1.5m on Kickstarter to let you take selfies from space". Financial Times. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  28. ^ Tickle, Glen (22 June 2013). "Crowdfunded ARKYD Space Telescope Lets You Put Your Face in Space, Take Space Selfies". Geek System. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "SpaceBooth". 
  30. ^ "SpaceBooth FAQ".