Going and Coming

JAXA's HTV-4 entering the atmosphere on September 7th.  Credit: ISS and associated agencies.
JAXA’s HTV-4 entering the atmosphere on September 7th. Credit: ISS and associated agencies.

The International Space Station has a been a busy place. The Japanese HTV-4 was undocked on September 4th and it spiraled back towards Earth until on September 7th when this image was taken the ISS. The image shows the HTV-4 as it reentered the atmosphere and burned up ending its resupply mission.

In the mean time, preparations are underway bring Expedition 36 crew members home. Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin closed the hatch on the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft at 20:19 UTC.

The three undocked from the Poisk mini-research module at 23:37 UTC and landed in Kazakhstan at 02:58 UTC (08:58 a.m. Kazakhastan time.

The next crew and soon to be Expedition 37 crew members: Oleg Kotov, Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy are getting ready for a ride to the ISS inside a Soyuz TMA-10M on 25 September 2013. They will be taking one of what I call fast track, from orbit to ISS in just four orbits and they are there.  Incidentally,  the three Expedition Crew members still on the ISS, Commander Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano, were the first to  that that “fast track” route.

4 thoughts on “Going and Coming

  1. I love that image of the HTV-4 reentering the atmosphere. I am still unclear on the fast track. Also it takes 4 orbits to line up perfectly with the ISS?

  2. I liked that image too, just had to put it up. I call it a “fast track”, up until now it would take a couple of days to make the trip up, now it’s four orbits, just 6 hours (+/-), comparatively fast.

  3. That is a beautiful image.A lot of people dont know just how fast a spacecraft or debris is going around in orbit,thousands of miles per hour,no doubt.Just how long did it take to it to burn up and what part of the Earth did it occur over?

  4. Not sure about the duration, I’m still looking around. As to the location, I ‘think’ it was over the Pacific east of New Zealand generally close to where HTV-1 came in. That is based on the location of the ISS when the image was taken AND depends my accurate conversion (?) of JST to UTC (GMT).

    Also the speed of the ISS is about 27,680 kmh or 17,200 mph so the HTV would be something less than that, not a lot less though.

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