Return to Earth From Space Home
Earth from Space logo Image Information Earth from Space logo

Display a Screen Layout for Printing

IMAGE: gray corner       IMAGE: gray corner
  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS045-E-168055 Date: Dec. 2015
Geographic Region: ATLANTIC OCEAN

Ordering information for space photography
IMAGE: gray corner     IMAGE: gray corner

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner
  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Cygnus resupply spacecraft reaches space shortly after launch

What does a spacecraft look like as it enters space shortly after launch--as seen from space? Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were waiting to observe the launch of the Cygnus Commercial Resupply Services spacecraft on December 6, 2015. Powered by an Atlas V rocket with engines firing for ~18 minutes, this image was taken 4 min 12 secs after launch as the crew looked southwest into the dusk sky to shoot this unusual image. Using a powerful lens an astronaut captured the spacecraft with the Atlas engines firing, with long tendrils of exhaust trailing back toward Cape Canaveral in Florida--to the lower margin of the image where it is lost in the bright layers of the atmosphere. The space craft is a tiny object and would otherwise have been invisible to the crew. This image of the launch was acquired when the ISS was located far to the northeast over the Atlantic Ocean just east of Newfoundland.

Sixty-one hours later Cygnus arrived at the ISS, and an astronaut took this close-up image of the resupply ship about to be captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the ISS. Cygnus ferried various cargo to the orbiting crew, including science investigations, crew supplies, computer resources, hardware for the ISS, and spacewalk equipment, in all totaling 3513 kg (7745 lbs).

Images of spacecraft taken from spacecraft are always extremely interesting to the space community as well as to the public. Astronauts need to know exactly where each space craft will be at which moment in planning to acquire such photographs. Another example is this image of the Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) re-entering the atmosphere in a fiery plasma that was also photographed from the ISS.

Image: gray corner     Image: gray corner

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 33k
Mission: ISS045  
Roll - Frame: E - 168055
Geographical Name: ATLANTIC OCEAN  
Center Lat x Lon: N x E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N6
Camera Tilt: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 1150  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 20151206   YYYYMMDD
Time: 214909   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 45.2N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 48.2W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 261   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 218   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: -24   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views: OCEAN  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

Home Page
Home Page
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

NASA meatball logo
This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
ESRS logo