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Jan. 29, 2010

The Hubble In 3-D

by Shelley DuBois

Click to enlarge images

hubble1

Michael Massimino has been to space. He has literally hung out for half an hour on the side of a space ship, taking in the view while orbiting our planet. “I felt like I was looking at paradise,” he said.

It was probably one of the most beautifully existential moments that a human can experience, and one that most of us definitely won’t. But before the 2009 mission to repair the Hubble telescope, Warner Bros. collaborated with NASA and IMAX to equip the shuttle with 3-D cameras, which generated some of the most gorgeous images of a space mission that have ever been captured. One shot in particular makes you feel like you could reach out and hand the astronaut a wrench.

“This is as close as you can get to seeing it,” said Massimino.

The movie, called Hubble 3D, comes out in March of 2010. Yesterday, an IMAX theater at Lincoln Square in New York previewed rough cuts of the footage, which is breath-taking. The only downside is the trailer, which frames the film as an Apollo-13 style will-they-make-it melodrama.

Spoiler alert: everybody comes out okay, Hubble included. But drama isn’t the draw. Space is so captivating, and these images are so good that you can sit happily, mesmerized, watching people tightening bolts on a giant telescope.

[Image Credit: Nasa.gov]
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About Shelley DuBois

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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