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

Article written: 21 Jul , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


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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9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    This is awesome

  2. David Syzdek says

    Way cool.

  3. Torbjörn Larsson says

    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]

  4. Ints Kesans says

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

    • Anonymous says

      What do you mean with off?

      • Ints Kesans says

        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?

      • Anonymous says

        Because it is going down, not up.

      • Anonymous says

        Because it is going down, not up.

    • Joseph Piatt says

      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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