Space station crew captures Soyuz launch, as seen from orbit

Mar 29, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
Soyuz Rocket Launch – the moment of ignition, as seen from their target, the Space Station. Credit: NASA/CSA/Chris Hadfield.

Just how much activity on Earth can be seen from orbit? In the dark of night, the Soyuz rocket launch on March 29/28, 2013 was bright enough to be seen by the International Space Station crew 350 km (220 miles) above. "Soyuz Rocket Launch – the moment of ignition, as-seen from their target, the Space Station," tweeted ISS commander Chris Hadfield in sharing this image.

The new fast-track trajectory used for the first time for a crewed Soyuz has the rocket launching shortly after the ISS passes overhead, and so the ISS was in the perfect spot for the crew to witness the launch with their own eyes—at least with a camera and a zoom lens. The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft launched at 2:43 a.m. Friday local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (4:43 p.m. EDT, 20:43 UTC on March 28), carrying the crew of Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin and Chris Cassidy.

The fast-track launch had the crew arriving in just 5 hours and 45 minutes after launch. This is the first crew to use this quick trajectory. It came with the added bonus of the launch being visible from space.

Explore further: NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russian cargo ship docks with ISS: official

Oct 31, 2012

A Russian Progress cargo vessel successfully docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday after its launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, mission control said.

ISS crew prepares for repositioning

Mar 13, 2007

The Expedition 14 crew aboard the International Space Station was making final preparations Wednesday for a repositioning rocket firing.

New Station Crew Prepares For Launch Tuesday

Apr 07, 2008

The Progress 28 cargo ship undocked from the International Space Station at 4:50 a.m. EDT Monday and headed into its deorbit and destructive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

Recommended for you

Local model better describes lunar gravity

4 hours ago

Two satellites orbiting the Moon as a part of NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission have been mapping its inner structure by measuring subtle shifts in the pull of gravity on the ...

User comments : 0