The Shuttle launches are always dramatic events. Pity there are only two more planned. They are one event I would have liked to have seen before popping my clogs.
However, there are always the photos. And some of the most interesting are those taken from the air, or even from orbit, rather than the ground. I have seen a few taken from airplanes, or by parachuters. There is even one taken from the International Space Station!
Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer and author of the book Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . ., has been presenting some of these on his blog recently. His last one, taken by Van Wideman, is of the launch which carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit back in 1990.
This must be pretty rare:
Thanks to Bad Astronomer – Diving into and out of the sky.
Just imagine yourself as a photographer on the International Space Station (ISS). Constantly changing scenery – and most of it beautiful.
One of the astronauts, Jose Hernandez, has been sending back some lovely photos. Here are a couple below. Click on them to go to the originals – the one with the space station can be enlarged.
You can follow Jose on twitter – Astro_Jose
Thanks to Sin palabras…Simplemente asombroso! Without words! Simply breathtaking!
This is scary stuff. Look at all that space junk. I guess it’s a matter of resolution. But it must be quite a job keeping track of it all.
Each dot represents a bit of known space junk that’s at least 4 inches (10 cm) orbiting Earth. Note the distinctive outer ring, known as a geostationary orbit, where weather and communication satellites orbit at the same rate that the Earth turns, allowing them to remain over a single spot on Earth at all times. The concentration of dots obscuring Earth in the center of the image represent debris in low-Earth orbit. In total, some 19,000 manmade objects this size or bigger orbit Earth as of July 2009; most are in low-Earth orbit. Countless smaller objects are also circling the planet. Credit: NASA/Orbital Debris Program Office.
via Image Display.