Life Imitates Art: NASA Steals From Star Wars

By Dave Zani 2010-02-19 16:16:07discussion comments
Life Imitates Art: NASA Steals From Star Wars  image
Oscar Wilde once said "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life," and his quote was on my mind when I saw a recent picture of NASA’s new bay window on the observation deck at the International Space Station. It's the largest window ever flown in space, but it's also basically the inside window of a TIE Fighter. You can check out the full-size image here.

As a bona fide Star Wars nerd I find this fascinating, that designs from Star Wars created over 30 years ago are finding real life uses in our own technology. Now I am no aeronautical engineer but there has to be some engineering purpose to having the windows shaped in that way, concerns with pressure distribution or something. Star Wars was already way ahead of its time in cinema but also ahead of its time envisioning the future of space flight.

It's not a far stretch to assume that engineers at NASA really did pick up the design from Star Wars. In 2007 a lightsaber actually used in Return of the Jedi spent two weeks in orbit around the earth on the space shuttle Discovery, after Lucasfilm gifted the item to NASA. May the force be with you.
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