STS-130: Silhouettes In Disguise

Blatant Kansas song titles aside, this is one of several amazing images of Space Shuttle Endeavour taken by an astronaut on the ISS as it closed in to dock.

Endeavour in Silhouette

The NASA website has a nice description of what we are seeing too: Docking occurred at 11:06 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 9, 2010. The orbital outpost was at 46.9 south latitude and 80.5 west longitude, over the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern Chile with an altitude of 183 nautical miles when the image was recorded. The orange layer is the troposphere, where all of the weather and clouds which we typically watch and experience are generated and contained. This orange layer gives way to the whitish Stratosphere and then into the Mesosphere.

Sometimes amidst the glare of the technology involved in human spaceflight it is nice to see some straightforward natural beauty.

The NASA website has a complete library of imagery from the STS-130 mission so far, and it is updated daily as new images are downlinked from the station: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-130/ndxpage1.html

Happy Spacing, Spacers!

Image credit: NASA
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