The shuttle about to dock with the ISS, silhouetted against the sun.
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From Discovery News space blogger Jason Major:
The image above, captured by Expedition 31 astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), shows an enigmatic atmospheric phenomenon known as a red sprite hovering just above a bright flash of lightning in a thunderstorm over Myanmar.
The Skylon looks awesome.
Also the ISS and shuttle kinda dwarf everything else.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit recently uploaded a gallery of photos to the Johnson Space Center’s Flickr page. Pettit on how he captured these amazing images:
“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, the ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”
Ed note: Here are the Hubble Space Telescope’s finest photos.
h/t Twisted Sifter
Whooooooooooa. Thank you, Don. These are phenomenal!
Looking like a bright star streaking up into a black sky, a rocket took off before dawn today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying an unmanned capsule filled with food, clothes, and other supplies for astronauts on the international space station.
But this robotic cargo ship doesn’t belong to NASA. Instead, it’s owned by a company called SpaceX, which made history by launching the first ever private spacecraft on a mission to the station.
SpaceX has a $1.6 billion cargo-delivery contract with NASA, which is turning routine flights to the station over to industry so that the veteran space agency can start to focus on more ambitious exploration efforts. (NPR)
This is a landmark moment in space travel. With the entry of private firms into the public space game, NASA not only ensures continued support for ISS projects, but can turn their resources to missions above and beyond near-earth orbit.
This is the kind of progress that lets NASA worry less about meeting a bottom line or boldly going where we’ve gone many times before, and instead lets them start thinking about what’s next.
Streaks of psychedelic colors show the passage of cities below the International Space Station (ISS), airglow in Earth’s atmosphere and the circling motion of stars in this stunning new image from Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit.
Pettit created the image by combining 18 long-exposure digital images taken with a camera mounted inside the ISS on March 16, 2012. Because of the limitations of digital imaging sensors, multiple exposures are needed to get such an image.
A beautiful picture. Just driving through space, we are.