Category Archives: ISS

ISS Crossing the Sun

Now THIS is a crossing! Wow, great image. For my attempts and they are not very frequent, something always seems to go awry. Well it is not every day the opportunity comes along. I have a plan though – we will see.

Great job Ian Griffin, the person behind the camera.

ESA caption: Humankind’s most distant outpost was recently captured crossing the face of our enormous and gleaming Sun. The fleeting transit of the International Space Station was over in the blink of an eye, but Ian Griffin, Director at the Otago Museum of New Zealand, made sure he was in the right place to capture it.

“A transit was predicted about 130 km from my home in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island. So, I packed my telescope into my car and drove for approximately 2 hours”, explains Ian.

“On Thursday 31 January, at 11:07 NZDT, the International Space Station crossed the Sun in less time than a human heart beats once, and I was there to witness it”.

The Space Station, slightly larger in size than a football field, orbits Earth every 92 minutes. It is one of the most remarkable endeavours our species has ever embarked upon, yet it pales in comparison to the size and power of our star.

This remarkable spectacle serves as a much needed reminder that the people and technology we send into space can be affected by solar activity, and the changing environment .

One of the largest geomagnetic storms on record, the Carrington event of 1859, was caused as a fast coronal mass ejection associated with an enormous solar flare struck Earth’s magnetosphere. The impact created auroras as far north as Queensland, Australia, and as far south as the Caribbean.

Telegraph systems across Europe and North America failed, with reports of some operators receiving electric shocks and telegraph pylons sending out sparks.

Today, a storm of this magnitude would create far greater disruption, as we become ever-more dependent on infrastructure in space and on Earth that is vulnerable to the outbursts of the Sun.

As part of ESA’s Space Safety & Security activities, the Space Weather Office is working to minimise the potential damage and disruption these events can cause. The future Lagrange mission will keep a constant eye on the Sun, sending timely warnings via the Space Weather Service Network to operators and controllers of vital infrastructure, giving them time to take protective measures.

This early warning system will also be of great importance to astronauts and future explorers to the Moon and Mars, who, vulnerable to the radiation emitted during these extreme events will need time to get to safety.

Demo-1 Docking Replay

Here is a replay of the Crew-Dragon docking to the International Space Station. Thanks to Videosfromspace for the replay.

Hatch Opening. COMPLETE! 12:07 UTC

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NASA TV coverage of the historic SpaceX Demo-1 mission.

I had a technical issue but I cleared that up.

The hatch opening is scheduled for 08:30 ET / 13:30 UT.

They are putting Crew-Dragon through it’s paces right now. I like the timing overlay. The image of Crew-Dragon alone in the black is rather surreal.

Two critical steps remain, docking and undocking/return. Scratch docking, we have at least a soft-dock, I have lost audio on two devices. I have captions going on one of them (this feed actually).

I wonder how Ripley enjoyed his flight. Who’s Ripley?

Docking complete! Audio is back too.

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Here we have the docking. Fingers crossed for success; funny that implies luck, but luck should not and must not be a factor. I don’t care – good luck SpaceX!

Femtosatellites

Space to Ground: Femtosatellites. A very good look at what is happening on the International Space Station.

Solar Transit by the ISS

Ever tried to get a picture of the shadow of the ISS as it travels across the Sun? I have. No success (YET!), pretty amazing how many things go wrong though.

NASA: This composite image, made from nine frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of three onboard, in silhouette as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. Onboard are Commander Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos. The trio will soon be joined by Nick Hague of NASA and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, who are scheduled to launch on October 11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Florence from the ISS

Florence is not as strong as it could have been, the problem with this is everybody thinks in terms of wind speed and sure 160 kmh (100 mph) is much-much better than 225 kmh (140 mph). No doubt about it but the BIG problem, apathy aside, is the water and the very slow motion of this storm, days of rain, flooding rains for days!

Apathy? Well yes, that happens when earlier reports were for those 225 kmh winds and then they are “only” 160, people could let down their guard — it’s very common.

People, please be careful around creeks and rivers and road washes. Seriously this is a very acute danger, BE CAREFUL! DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODING ROADS!

Ok, I’m off my soapbox.

Florence – Big Trouble

International Space Station Astronaut Ricky Arnold shared this image of Hurricane Florence a couple of days ago (Sept. 10).  Credit: NASA

If you are in the in the warned areas of this very dangerous storm please be safe. I remember a storm named Hugo some years ago and Florence could be about as devastating – let’s hope not.

I have heard rain potential in some areas to exceed 45 cm plus the winds apparently could hinder drainage in the coastal areas.  That’s before, during and after dealing with winds around 225 kmh / 140 mph.

Some areas could feel the start of the storm later tonight and certainly by tomorrow morning.

Space Station Leak Update

To update the pressure link on the International Space Station have a look at this entry on the current status.

I keep hearing this leak is in the station itself however the update says it is in the Soyuz MS-09 attached to the station.  That’s scary!  2 millimeters is small but not that small.