Text taken from spaceflight.nasa.gov: Though astronauts and cosmonauts often encounter striking scenes of Earth’s limb, this very unique image, part of a series over Earth’s colorful horizon, has the added feature of a silhouette of the space shuttle Endeavour. The image was photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member prior to STS-130 rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station. Docking occurred at 11:06 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 9, 2010. The orbital outpost was at 46.9 south latitude and 80.5 west longitude, over the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern Chile with an altitude of 183 nautical miles when the image was recorded. The orange layer is the troposphere, where all of the weather and clouds which we typically watch and experience are generated and contained. This orange layer gives way to the whitish Stratosphere and then into the Mesosphere. In some frames the black color is part of a window frame rather than the blackness of space.
Archive for the 'Manned Spaceflight' Category
This image was taken by LRO of the Apollo 12 landing site. Since Apollo 11 already achieved the objective of landing a man on the surface of the moon and returning him safely to home, one of the main objectives of Apollo 12 was to show landing precision. They did this by selecting the resting place of Surveyor 3 as the area they would like to touch-down and did so impressively by touching down only 200 feet away from the robotic lander. You can therefore see the Intrepid Lander, Surveyor 3, the LDEP experiment as well as a good amount of foot traffic left behind by astronaut feet.
Be sure to click on the image for the full size to see all the detail.
You can also follow the mission in real-time as history played out 40 years ago on twitter. Follow Mission Control, The Spacecraft or The Lunur Excursion Module (Eagle). The Eagle will not have much to say, obviously, until it is actually descending toward the surface of the moon on Monday, but it has just started making some noise on Sunday night.
If happen to come to own one of these bad boys from the late 60’s early 70’s you are going to need this owners manual. The original owners of these models rarely have this on-hand. If you are in the market, beware of any models from the 13 line since that model had a well-known faulty oxygen tank that is likely to scrub any potential trips to the Lunar surface you may have planned. Get it from Haynes online.
Having successfully repaired/upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope in what was easily the most complicated in-space repair mission in history, the Shuttle and Hubble depart the company of one another.
Taken from NASA image caption: An STS-125 crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis captured this still image of the Hubble Space Telescope as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation on May 19, after having been linked together for the better part of a week. During the week five spacewalks were performed to complete the final servicing mission for the orbital observatory.
This image taken by Thierry Legault has been making the rounds lately. That bit of a speck seen on the Sun’s lower-right limb is the shuttle on the way to perform it’s current Hubble repair mission. The spacecraft itself can be seen in much greater detail at left and another image of The Shuttle with The Hubble Space Telescope nearby can also be seen on Thierry’s website here.
A quick google search of Thierry’s name reveals that he has been at this sort of thing before. Seen below is the Shuttle and The International Space Station as seen against The Sun in 2006. These transits happen in less than a second to a ground observer, so capturing this fleeting event is no easy task.
While astronaut Don Pettit was living aboard the International Space Station (ISS), he used some of his off-duty time to make time lapse videos of what he was seeing outside of the ISS window. There are a few examples of this work in this video from Science Friday (NPR). It begins with some beautiful aurora followed by a view of the solar panels rotating (they do this every 90 mins) and a simple look at the earth whirling about through a portal window.
See also this experiment involving candy corns.
In June 2007, the Space Shuttle crew (STS-117) visiting the International Space Station (ISS) observed spectacular polar mesospheric clouds over north-central Asia (top). The red-to-dark region at the bottom of the image is the dense part of the Earth’s atmosphere. For more like this see Earth From Space.