Portraits of a Planet: Photographer in Space by NASA Astronaut Don Pettit

  • Ghost Panel. Star trails with city lights, earth horizon, and solar panel. Composite photo, 30 min. exposure.
    Ghost Panel. Star trails with city lights, earth horizon, and solar panel. Composite photo, 30 min. exposure.
  • Abalone. 2011. Solar panel on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft consists of individual scale-like cells that reflect an iridescent blue. Finger-like appendage is a high-gain antenna.
    Abalone. 2011. Solar panel on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft consists of individual scale-like cells that reflect an iridescent blue. Finger-like appendage is a high-gain antenna.
  • Blue Moon. 2012. Moonlight turned blue from scattering off Earth’s hazy atmosphere, illuminates solar panel with horizon view.
    Blue Moon. 2012. Moonlight turned blue from scattering off Earth’s hazy atmosphere, illuminates solar panel with horizon view.
  • Cosmic Matisse. 2012. Ganges River Delta in near-in- frared showing lush mangrove  forests in Matisse-like colors. Encroaching agriculture is seen in pink.
    Cosmic Matisse. 2012. Ganges River Delta in near-in- frared showing lush mangrove forests in Matisse-like colors. Encroaching agriculture is seen in pink.
  • Green River. 2012. Space Station flying above a river of green aurora.
    Green River. 2012. Space Station flying above a river of green aurora.
  • Lightning Bugs. 2012.Flashing bolts of lightning send messages into space under a green atmospheric glow. Composite exposure, 30 min.
    Lightning Bugs. 2012.Flashing bolts of lightning send messages into space under a green atmospheric glow. Composite exposure, 30 min.
  • My Business Suit. 2011. One has to dress up in the proper attire when you go outside on a stroll. Rendered in black and white.
    One has to dress up in the proper attire when you go outside on a stroll. Rendered in black and white.
  • Porthole to Earth: Daytime. 2012. Daytime view from the Japanese module.
    Porthole to Earth: Daytime. 2012. Daytime view from the Japanese module.
  • Porthole to Earth: Nighttime. 2012. Nighttime view from the Japanese module.
    Porthole to Earth: Nighttime. 2012. Nighttime view from the Japanese module.
  • Purple Haze. 2012. Purple haze, caused by atmospheric nitrogen when illuminated by sunlight. It is only seen near dawn and dusk. Composite exposure, 30 min.
    Purple Haze. 2012. Purple haze, caused by atmospheric nitrogen when illuminated by sunlight. It is only seen near dawn and dusk. Composite exposure, 30 min.
  • Re-boost. 2012. Rocket engines on Space Sta- tion fire to increase altitude lost  from residual atmospheric drag. Space Station loses about 100 meters of altitude daily, requiring a re-boost about once a month. Composite exposure, 5 sec.
    Re-boost. 2012. Rocket engines on Space Sta- tion fire to increase altitude lost from residual atmospheric drag. Space Station loses about 100 meters of altitude daily, requiring a re-boost about once a month. Composite exposure, 5 sec.
  • Sunrise. 2011. In space, brilliant red-hued sunrise happens in 7 1⁄2 seconds instead of 2 minutes as on Earth. Orbital views shift toward red due to the longer distance thelight rays travel through the atmosphere.
    Sunrise. 2011. In space, brilliant red-hued sunrise happens in 7 1⁄2 seconds instead of 2 minutes as on Earth. Orbital views shift toward red due to the longer distance thelight rays travel through the atmosphere.
  • Black Spot Earth. 2012. Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012. Moon shadow projected onto ocean clouds east of Kamchatka with solar panel.
    Black Spot Earth. 2012. Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012. Moon shadow projected onto ocean clouds east of Kamchatka with solar panel.
  • Techno-color. 2012. Earth horizon with sunrise, aurora, city lights, lighting, star trails, and spacecraft. Composite photo, 30 min. exposure.
    Techno-color. 2012. Earth horizon with sunrise, aurora, city lights, lighting, star trails, and spacecraft. Composite photo, 30 min. exposure.
  • Black Marble. 2012. Mother Earth from the cupola. Rendered in black and white.
    Black Marble. 2012. Mother Earth from the cupola. Rendered in black and white.
  • View of my view. 2012. Cupola module with Earth view taken from the Russian airlock. Self portrait.
    View of my view. 2012. Cupola module with Earth view taken from the Russian airlock. Self portrait.
  • Wings. 2012. When in space, wing-like radia- tors dissipate heat from electric- ity generated by the solar panels.  Strong atmospheric airglow, driv- en by solar electrons, produces  a yellow-green Earth. Hovering above is a faint red glow from the upper atmosphere. Composite exposure, 30 min.
    Wings. 2012. When in space, wing-like radia- tors dissipate heat from electric- ity generated by the solar panels. Strong atmospheric airglow, driv- en by solar electrons, produces a yellow-green Earth. Hovering above is a faint red glow from the upper atmosphere. Composite exposure, 30 min.
  • Truss. 2012.Space Station truss with solar panels and support equipment.
    Truss. 2012.Space Station truss with solar panels and support equipment.

Portraits of a Planet: Photographer in Space
NASA Astronaut Don Pettit

Dec 4, 2019 – Mar 6, 2020
 

Yale’s Center for Collaborative Arts & Media (CCAM) is thrilled to announce a new exhibition by NASA astronaut Don Pettit—Portraits of a Planet: Photographer in Space. The space photography is exhibited throughout CCAM, with more than twenty prints, two murals, and an architectural-scale print viewable from York Street.

 

Portraits of a Planet: Photographer in Space is CCAM’s first large-scale exhibition, transforming the CCAM Gallery and corridor.

 

CCAM Director Dana Karwas was interested in bringing Don and his work to campus to highlight his unique perspective on the intersection of art and science. The exhibition brings up questions around artistic process, scientific practice, and how these two things co-mingle when one is 250 miles above the earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

 

At the entrance of the exhibition is Ghost Panel, a ten-foot mural showing a 30-minute exposure composite of city lights, the earth’s horizon, and part of the ISS hanging seemingly motionless above. The image is a magnificent way to see mechanical and orbital patterns of light. On the opposite wall is Truss, another ten-foot mural showing a space station truss with solar panels and equipment realized against the velvety blackness of space.  These mechanical artifacts are examples of Don’s surprising presentation—the ISS, of course, is a tool with which to study the earth and space, but Don’s images capture this machinery alongside the object of its study.  Overall, Don’s images take the visitor beyond purely informational visuals and elicit an evocative and emotional experience, asking us to reflect our own existence in the universe and our own peculiar frame of reference.

Donald R. Pettit (Ph.D.) NASA Astronaut

Summary:
Donald R. Pettit (Ph.D.) was selected by NASA in 1996. The Silverton, Oregon native holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona. Prior to becoming an astronaut, he worked as a staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. A veteran of three spaceflights, Pettit served as NASA Science Officer for Expedition 6 in 2003, operated the robotic arm for STS-126 in 2008 and served as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 30/31 in 2012, where he lived aboard the International Space Station for more than 6 months.

 

Experience:
Staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico from 1984 to 1996. Projects included reduced gravity fluid flow and materials processing experiments onboard the NASA KC-135 airplane, atmospheric spectroscopy on noctilucent clouds seeded from sounding rockets, fumarole gas sampling from volcanoes and problems in detonation physics. He was a member of the Synthesis Group, a presidential commission lead by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Stafford tasked with assembling the technology to return to the Moon and explore Mars (1990) and the Space Station Freedom Redesign Team (1993).

NASA Experience:
Selected by NASA to be an astronaut in April 1996, Dr. Pettit reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. A veteran of three spaceflights, Dr. Pettit has logged more than 370 days in space and over 13 spacewalk hours. He lived aboard the International Space Station for 5½ months during Expedition 6, was a member of the STS-126 crew, and again lived aboard the station for 6½ months as part of the Expedition 30/31 crew.

Spaceflight Experience:
Expedition 6 (November 23, 2002 to May 3, 2003). Dr. Pettit completed his first spaceflight as NASA Science Officer aboard the International Space Station with Mission Commander Ken Bowersox, and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, logging more than 161 days in space. During their mission, the crew performed science experiments while continuing space station construction. Dr. Pettit and Ken Bowersox performed two spacewalks. The Expedition 6 crew launched on STS-113 Space Shuttle Endeavour expecting to return on STS-114 Space Shuttle Discovery after a 2½-month mission. Following the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster that grounded the Space Shuttle fleet, they returned to Earth after 5½ months on Soyuz TMA-1, landing in Kazakhstan with a malfunction-caused ballistic entry. This off-nominal entry resulted in the crew being lost for a number of hours until recovered by ground rescue teams.

STS-126 (November 14 to November 30, 2008). The Space Shuttle Endeavour launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and due to bad weather, returned to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The 16-day mission included expanding the living quarters of the International Space Station and a regenerative life support system that reclaims potable water from urine. During the mission, Dr. Pettit operated the robotic arm for four spacewalks.

Expedition 30/31 (December 21, 2011 to July 1, 2012). Pettit launched to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft from Kazakhstan. Don Pettit, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands docked to the station on December 23, 2011. Dr. Pettit did scientific research and captured the first commercial cargo spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon D1 using the robotic arm. They landed in Kazakhstan after 193 days in space.

Pronunciation:
DON-uld PED-it

Credits:
CCAM Director Dana Karwas dana.karwas@yale.edu
Executive Producer Peter A. Blacksberg info@portraitsofaplanet.com

www.portraitsofaplanet.com


Associate Producer David Newman (DNSF.COM)

Professional Partners
David W. Messinger, Ph.D., Director, Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, RIT
William Springer, Imaging Systems Engineer, Imaging Systems Lab, RIT

 

 

 

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