Atlantis' fiery final return home, as seen by the crew of the International Space Station

Amazing Image: ISS Crew Captures Shuttle Atlantis’ Last Brilliant Trip Through the Atmosphere

21 Jul , 2011 by

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Simply incredible. Atlantis on its way home taken by the Expedition 28 crew of the space station. Via the NASA_Johnson Twitpic page.

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Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
July 21, 2011 6:56 PM

This is awesome

David Syzdek
Member
July 21, 2011 8:03 PM

Way cool.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 21, 2011 11:34 PM

If you catch a firefly
and keep it in a jar
You may find that
you have lost
A tiny star.

If you let it go then,
back into the night,
You may see it
once again
Star bright.

[Lilian Moore]

Ints Kesans
Guest
Ints Kesans
July 22, 2011 6:50 AM

I am confused. Trajectory of Atlantis seems to be a bit off the ISS flight path. Shouldn’t it look more towards ISS?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 22, 2011 4:46 PM

What do you mean with off?

Ints Kesans
Guest
Ints Kesans
July 25, 2011 6:36 AM

I mean, there is very short launch window, during which station’s flight path is directly over the launch pad. Within few degrees, I guess. Once cleared the tower, shuttle performs a roll maneuver. At that point, just about 20 seconds after launch, shuttle is already in the plane of orbit and it can’t be changed much. The only thing done from here is acceleration, so perigee of that particular orbit move out of center of Earth. In that very nice picture I see, that trajectory of Atlantis is not directly towards station. Why so?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 25, 2011 6:03 PM

Because it is going down, not up.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 25, 2011 6:03 PM

Because it is going down, not up.

Joseph Piatt
Guest
Joseph Piatt
July 25, 2011 1:13 AM

IIRC, their trajectory is rather straight-line once they hit atmosphere, so they have to begin their approach already aligned with the runway.

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