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STS-86 Launch Featured Print

STS-86 Launch

The Space Shuttle Atlantis blazes through the night sky to begin the STS-86 mission, slated to be the seventh of nine planned dockings of the Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir. Liftoff on September 25 from Launch Pad 39A was at 10:34 p.m. EDT, within seconds of the preferred time, during a six minute, 45 second launch window. The 10 day flight will include the transfer of the sixth U.S. astronaut to live and work aboard the Mir. After the docking, STS-86 Mission Specialist David A. Wolf will become a member of the Mir 24 crew, replacing astronaut C. Michael Foale, who will return to Earth aboard Atlantis with the remainder of the STS-86 crew. Foale has been on the Russian Space Station since mid May. Wolf is scheduled to remain there about four months. Besides Wolf (embarking to Mir) and Foale (returning), the STS-86 crew includes Commander James D. Wetherbee, Pilot Michael J. Bloomfield, and Mission Specialists Wendy B. Lawrence, Scott E. Parazynski, Vladimir Georgievich Titov of the Russian Space Agency, and Jean-Loup J.M. Chretien of the French Space Agency, CNES. Other primary objectives of the mission are a spacewalk by Parazynski and Titov, and the exchange of about 3.5 tons of science/logistical equipment and supplies between Atlantis and the Mir.

© NASA

STS-57 Launch Featured Print

STS-57 Launch

The first flight of the commercially developed SPACEHAB laboratory module begins with the flawless liftoff of the Space Shuttle Endeavour from Launch Pad 39B at 9:07:22 a.m. EDT, June 21, 1993. Also planned for the eight-day flight of Mission STS-57 is the retrieval of the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA). Onboard for the fourth flight of Endeavour are a crew of six: Mission Commander Ronald J. Grabe; Pilot Brian Duffy; Payload Commander G. David Low; and Mission Specialists Nancy Jane Sherlock, Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff, and Janice E. Voss. The first launch attempt on June 20 was scrubbed due to unacceptable weather conditions both at KSC and the overseas contingency landing sites.

© NASA

Gemini 6 Views Gemini 7 Featured Print

Gemini 6 Views Gemini 7

NASA successfully completed its first rendezvous mission with two Gemini spacecraft-Gemini VII and Gemini VI-in December 1965. This photograph, taken by Gemini VII crewmembers Frank Lovell and Frank Borman, shows Gemini VI in orbit 160 miles (257 km) above Earth. The main purpose of Gemini VI, crewed by astronauts Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford, was the rendezvous with Gemini VII. The main purpose of Gemini VII, on the other hand, was studying the long-term effects of long-duration (up to 14 days) space flight on a two-man crew. The pair also carried out 20 experiments, including medical tests. Although the principal objectives of both missions differed, they were both carried out so that NASA could master the technical challenges of getting into and working in space.

© NASA