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Awesome Video of a Satellite in Orbit

Here’s a great video from a camera mounted on the exterior of the TechDemoSat-1, an in-orbit technology demonstration mission from the UK. It launched on July 8, 2014 on a Soyuz-2, and the video shows the satellite moments after separation from the upper stage. The satellite even took a selfie, below.

The video shows the satellite’s rotation and reveals a spectacular vista of “blue marble” Earth (visible is cloudy skies over the Pacific, south of French Polynesia).

It’s interesting to note that some identified flying objects zip past the field of view: At :25 seconds, the Fregat upper stage of the Soyuz-2 rocket appears as a gold object passing away from the satellite left to right at a distance of approximately 60 meters. At :34 seconds a white “dot” crosses the frame left to right – which has been identified as one of the other satellites that shared the ride into orbit with TechDemoSat-1.

Image of the TechDemoSat-1 in orbit, taken minutes after separation of the satellite from the Soyuz-2 launcher and shows a view of the Earth from Space, with the spacecraft's Antenna Pointing Mechanism in view. Credit: SSTL.

Image of the TechDemoSat-1 in orbit, taken minutes after separation of the satellite from the Soyuz-2 launcher and shows a view of the Earth from Space, with the spacecraft’s Antenna Pointing Mechanism in view. Credit: SSTL.

“It is very rare to see actual footage of our satellites in orbit,” said Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the company behind the mission, “and so viewing the video taken from TechDemoSat-1 moments after separation from the rocket has been a hugely rewarding and exciting experience for everyone at SSTL. We are delighted with the progress of commissioning the TechDemoSat-1 platform, and are looking forward to the next phase – the demonstration of a range of new technologies being flown on this innovative mission.”

The satellite is roughly the size of a refrigerator but wieghs just 150kg. TechDemoSat (TDS-1) carries eight separate payloads from UK academia and industry plus other payloads from SSTL for product development. Find out more here from SSTL.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • metalman_5150 August 12, 2014, 2:46 PM

    Not related but I wanted to share:
    Yesterday, 8-11-14, around 6PM, the sun was beginning to set amidst the clouds. I noticed a very interesting set of colors. I would not be shocked, if in some form, or fashion, that I witnessed, aurora borealis. I saw, green, violet, blue, red, orange, lavender, and lush colors that I have never, before seen. I am located in the South-Eastern, USA and felt like this was worth sharing.

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