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: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

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

Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

3 hours ago

No matter how beautiful or crystal clear the bubbling waters of an oasis may be, they seldom lead to technology breakthroughs. Yet, NASA's OASIS investigation's bubbles may lead to an ocean of new improvements ...

Zapping away space junk

12 hours ago

Planet Earth is surrounded. Thousands of tons of dangerous space debris circle in low orbit, threatening serious damage, even death, if any were to strike the International Space Station. A proposal by a ...

Ariane 5's first launch of 2015

14 hours ago

An Ariane 5 has lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.