Photography exhibition, Hubble Space Telescope: The First Ten Years/The Floating World at The Biscuit Factory, until Aug 31. 

Picture shows: Cosmonaut Yuri Usachev's picture of the Indian Ocean. 

and The Hubble Space Telescope  The First Ten Years Image Retrospective The visual documentation of mankinds celestial forays  both in person and through technological conduit  are celebrated in the joint exhibition of photographs of the Earth by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Usachev and a retrospective of images captured by The Hubble Space Telescope over its first ten years of charting the previously unknown recesses of space at The Blue Gallery, 15 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1 from December 3rd 2003 to January 31st 2004. The Floating World 
The 37 photos by Cosmonaut Yuri Usachev on exhibition at The Blue Gallery were taken on his most recent mission  as commander of a multinational crew during a 163 day mission aboard the Shuttle Discovery in 2001. The Floating World show at The Blue Gallery matches the pioneering spirit inherent in its creation by being truly unique  for never before has a Cosmonaut photographer been exhibited in the UK. Although images of space have become woven into the visual tapestry of the modern age, only 341 men and women have actually ventured beyond the Earths confines. Less than half a century has passed since John Glenn became not only the first American to enter the Earths orbit, but also the first extraterrestrial photographer, when he took a camera with him aboard the Friendship 7 craft in 1962. Ever since, the ultimate view of the cosmos has been privilege of very few. Yuri Usachev, who selected his photographs for The Floating World exhibition that best reveal the celestial view down to the world below, is a true child of the space age  being born 5 days after the launch of Sputnik in 1958. As a civilian engineer, he helped build and control spacecraft before becoming a cosmonaut in 1989. Commander Usachev has undergone 4 space flights including 3 long duration trips, 2 on the Mir space station and 1 to the International Space Station, spending a collective stretch of 550 days in space  placing him amongst the top five record holders for most time in the cosmos. According to Sigmund Jahn our planet, when seen from space, holds an "ineffable beauty and fragility." Testament to the profundity of the emotions experienced by those afforded such a unique perspective is apparent its continuing influence on all star sailors  Yuri Usachev eagerly anticipates his next return to space. Whilst most of us will never have such an experience, photographs such as Smoke Plume from Mt. Etna, Sicily (showing the smoking volcano in full geographical context) and Earths Atmospheric Limb offer an inkling as to the pervasiveness of the vision and The Floating World exhibition at The Blue Gallery invokes the sense of awe felt by all who have left our planet.
"Sometimes, some evenings, I get out my projector and slides, erect a screen and switch out the lights, and I am off again in orbit around our planet. Only now, unlike the real thing, I can take my time and leisurely meander from place to place, all the time looking, looking and looking&"  Yuri Usachev, November 2003  The Hubble Space Telescope  The First Ten Years - Londons Blue Gallery presents an exhibition of the most remarkable photographs taken by The Hubble Space Telescope  timed to celebrate 10 years of images captured by this marvel of human ingenuity, and to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the scientist who inspired and gave his name to the project. Images such as The Helix Nebula , The Whirpool Galaxy & Jupiter Struck By Comet  hint at the mysteries of the universe, with the depiction of celestial bodies that are almost incomprehensible to the human mind in terms of their scale and distance  offering visitors to The Blue Gallery aesthetic beauty and scientific merit in equal measure . The Hubble Space Telescope is dedicated to one of the most distinguished astronomers of the 20th century, Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who radically transformed our existing notions of the universe. In orbit 380 miles above the Earth, it has provided astronomers with clear images of remote galaxies, fearsomely powerful black holes, the birth and death throes of stars, and new details our own solar system. It has peered deeper into space, and therefore further back in time, than was considered possible, and The Hubble Space Telescopes rich (and at times almost abstract) imagery instils a sense of awe and wonder.
The Blue Gallery, 15 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1  Open Monday to Saturday 10am  6pm
Closed 23rd December to 26th December  Special post-Christmas opening 
Exhibition originals, prints, brochures and postcards are all available for public purchase
www.thebluegallery.co.uk
For further information on The Floating World and The Hubble Space Telescope  The First Ten Years
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