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: The source of the sky's X-ray glow

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

The source of the sky's X-ray glow

11 hours ago

In findings that help astrophysicists understand our corner of the galaxy, an international research team has shown that the soft X-ray glow blanketing the sky comes from both inside and outside the solar system.

End dawns for Europe's space cargo delivery role

20 hours ago

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

Jul 26, 2014

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

Jul 26, 2014

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

Jul 25, 2014

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

Jul 25, 2014

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

User comments : 0