And I'm Floating In A Most Peculiar Way
(Click the image for a full-sized view).
I warned you about the "geek factor", but it's an image I've had in my head for roughly 41 years or so, imagining what it must have looked like. Of course, no photos were taken of Ed White II and the Gemini IV spacecraft from this angle - nobody there to take them, naturally, as his commander, Jim McDivitt, never left the capsule.
Just to give you an idea of the composition, here are the two main images I used:
(Image Courtey of NASA)
(Image Courtesy of NASA)
- although obviously, I changed the positioning significantly to get the angle I wanted. The background is a rough approximation of their orbit over the Gulf of Mexico about half-way through the 23 minute spacewalk performed on Gemini IV's third orbit, June 3, 1965, at an altitute of approximately 120 nautical miles.
White was initially elated at the experience, even getting off a memorable quip, "this is fun!", as he floated weightless above the earth. He managed to maneouver briefly using a "zip gun" before its limited supply of compressed air ran out, and spent several minutes working his way in front of, and below the capsule before finally squeezing himself back into the cramped cabin, at which point he noted somberly, "this is the saddest moment of my life". 18 months later, on January 27, 1967 he, Mercury 7 veteran "Gus" Grissom, and rookie astronaut Roger Chafee would all perish in the Apollo 1 launchpad fire.
Ironically, White's historic spacewalk was somewhat of an afterthought; the original Gemini IV mission profile didn't include an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), and it was only added after Soviet Cosmonaut Alexi Leonov's 12 minute excursion two and a half-months earlier, on March 18, 1965.
I've seen several artists' renderings from a similar perspective as this image, but I really wanted to try to capture a sense of what it must have felt like to actually be OUT THERE. I think it turned out pretty well, although the image is slightly washed out due to the flash, so some of the detail doesn't show quite as clearly here. Still, I think you get the idea of where I was going with it.
So, now have two pieces finished, and a third one ready to lay out - as soon as I give my back a few days to recover.
Speaking of which - where did I put that bottle of Tylenol?
Labels: Art, NASA, Space
on 11:34 PM