Thursday, November 26, 2009

Way up high

Some years back I was enthralled by Henry S.F. Cooper's book A House in Space, published in 1976, about life for three successive crews aboard the early-1970s U.S. space station Skylab. Only later did I realize the book first appeared as two installments in Cooper's long, wonderful series of articles about space in The New Yorker, and only later still -- last week, actually -- did I look up the articles in the Complete New Yorker DVD set and revisit this marvelous work of science journalism, the finest piece of writing on space exploration I've read.

I'm fascinated by those cranky astronauts, their impatience with the color of the clothes NASA designed for them, their delight at floating about in the roomy interior of the station, and especially their awe at the planet Earth as they gazed at it through the observation window.

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