I wish I had more information about this week’s space suit, suggested by helpful reader, and übertalented designer, Ben Pieratt. Found here, in the fantastic flikr photostream of Kiel Bryant, the image is a manipulated Thomas Gainsborough painting (the original actually lives in Los Angeles at the Huntington.) While the Blue Boy’s garbs are the most obvious alteration, the middleground and background have been manipulated to include a rocket and the Empire State Building, making the clever image about something more than just photoshopping a space suit on a sassy-looking, 18th century bratt. It’s progress: the sequence of artistic and scientific advances that began in the Renaissance and lead to the moon.
And the sequence continues. Today, the space shuttle Discovery will take off into space for the final time. Discovery propelled the first American woman into space, launched the Hubble telescope, and today carries Robonaut 2 in its payload bound for the International Space Station. This isn’t quite the last shuttle mission, but over the past 26 years the shuttle Discovery has been the hardest working shuttle in the NASA fleet; today’s launch is its 38th into space. Space nerds may enjoy reading this timeline of Discovery milestones; or this article about Discovery and the end of the shuttle missions.