Is This a Scene from Star Wars or a Real Image from the ISS?

Article written: 22 Jun , 2011
Updated: 26 Apr , 2016
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What an amazing image! The ATV-2 Johannes Kepler looks like an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars as it departed from the International Space Station. Astronaut Ron Garan posted the image on his Twitpic page, asking viewers if they thought the spacecraft looked like the fictional fighter jets of the Alliance.

The ATV-2 left the ISS and entered Earth’s atmosphere on June 21. The spacecraft had a “blackbox” on board, a Re-Entry Breakup Recorder (REBR) to monitor temperature, acceleration, rotation rate, and other data as it tumbled and disintegrated through the atmosphere. The data was sent down via a “phone call” to an Iridium satellite to help scientists better understand the physics of what happens to a spacecraft when it breaks up on re-entry.

So, enjoy one last beautiful look at the ATV-2 in this stunning image.

You can follow Universe Today senior editor Nancy Atkinson on Twitter: @Nancy_A. Follow Universe Today for the latest space and astronomy news on Twitter @universetoday and on Facebook.

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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16 Responses

  1. J. Major says

    Wow…..beautiful!

  2. EarthlingX says

    Here’s a couple more undocking images by Aleksander Samokutiaev :
    http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=69&blogger=10&lang=ru

  3. Beautiful picture but i would have said more from Star Trek The Next Generation then Star Wars

  4. Anonymous says

    My first thought was about the German TV series Raumpatroullie Orion from the 60ies. The spaceships of the aliens (called “Frogs”) had a similar appearance.

    • Member
      IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

      Ist das (hier klicken), was du meinst?

      • Baris Bicer says

        Woah! Was that real German? After taking the time to read your comment I actually understood your sentence! I KNEW I should’ve taken German in High School, it’s so easy for English speakers to understand. Stupid counselor told me Spanish would be better….

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        Yes, it was real German; yes, it’s easy for English speakers to learn German, and vice-versa. In both English and German languages, double negatives cancel one another out; whereas in Spanish (and also in French and Portuguese), double negatives intensify the negation, so it can lead to some confusion and misunderstandings between English and Spanish speakers.

      • Anonymous says

        Yeah! Exactly! 🙂 Nice catch!

        Und dein deutscher Satz ist auch richtig. 🙂

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        Danke.

      • Anonymous says

        Bitte.

        (But don’t put that into googletranslator; it would give you a strange result. “Bitte” would result in “please”, but in this case it is the German way of saying “You’re welcome”.)

      • Member
        IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says

        Yes, I know what “bitte” means, and also its alternative interjections; Google translator does gives a list of them:Please; Please do; Sorry, what did you say; Go ahead; Sure; Here you are; Pardon; Not at all; You’re welcome; That’s all right.

      • Anonymous says

        My apologies to google translator then….;)

  5. Baris Bicer says

    THIS. THIS is how you know you’re in the future, when you can take ACTUAL PHOTOS that look like this.

  6. William Sparrow says

    A beautiful image, and it makes for a stunning desktop background!

  7. William Sparrow says

    A beautiful image, and it makes a stunning desktop background!

Comments are closed.