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Node 2 is a European-built module of the International Space Station that serves as utility room, docking port and sleeping quarters. It was built in Italy for NASA and installed on the Space Station in 2007.
In this image Portuguese-born photographer Edgar Martins has shot the exterior of a Node 2 mock-up the Erasmus centre in ESA’s scientific and technical heart at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. In space the docking ports are used to connect spacecraft such as the Japanese ferry HTV, commercial supply ship Cygnus and NASA’s Space Shuttle before it retired from service.
Edgar Martins has collaborated closely with ESA to produce a comprehensive photographic survey of the Agency’s various facilities around the globe, together with those of its international partners.
Characteristically empty of people, Martins’ long-exposure photos – taken with analogue wide film cameras – possess a stark, reverent style. They document the variety of specialised installations and equipment needed to prepare missions for space, or to recreate orbital conditions for testing down on Earth.
Martins’ exhibition opens at The Wapping Project – Bankside in London on 25 April. His book is now available to order, shipping at the end of this month.
This artistic collaboration is part of a number of events marking the 50th anniversary of European cooperation in space.