Makeover Monday | Week 18 | 2019: ISS Spacewalks

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When I came across a dataset about spacewalks at the International Space Station, I knew I had to use it for Makeover Monday, especially because there were so many awesome vizzes from a previous NASA dataset about solar eclipses.

Here is the original viz:

What works well:

  • It’s a simple stacked bar chart showing the number of spacewalks in different spacesuits
  • Good use of color
  • Concise title
  • Sorted in chronological order
  • Summaries for each nation are posted on either side

What could be improved:

  • It would help to have more context: what does it mean to have a spacewalk in a Russian or US Spacesuit? I am pretty sure that not all of the astronauts included in the additional data are Russian or US Americans, so what are the rules behind the spacewalk nationality thing?
  • The background image is very distracting
  • What defines a spacewalk? Again, more context would be great
  • The gridlines aren’t necessary
  • The summary labels could have much larger numbers to make them stand out more
  • Rotating the year labels to be horizontal would make them much easier to read

What I focused on:

  • My intention was to visualize space buddies, those astronauts and cosmonauts who frequently went out on spacewalks together (sounds romantic, right?).
  • I couldn’t figure it out in the time I had available this week so I settled for a simple bar chart and added a bit of detail for 2007.
  • Space stuff fascinates me and there is a plethora of information online about all these missions, I might come back to this dataset at another point.

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