Set phasers to dizzy: A photographer on the ground spotted a spacecraft 400 kilometers above his head, about to join the International Space Station (ISS).
London space station tracker and photographer Szabolcs Nagy captured the Boeing Starliner just 200 meters (650ft) from the orbiting complex as the Uncrewed Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) made a historic docking May 20.
“I was listening to the conversation between Mission Control and the ISS crew while taking pictures with my telescope in the garden,” said Nagy, who also created SpaceStationGuys.com (opens in a new tab)told Space.com.
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“It was unlike any other ISS imaging session before,” added Nagy, who enhanced his camera view using a 14-inch Dobsonian telescope with hand tracking, as well as a 3x Barlow lens to increase the focal length of the system.
It’s the International Space Station with the #Boeing #Starliner 200 meters away. This whole experience was surreal, so happy! @Cmdr_Hadfield @Space_Station @BoeingSpace @richard_e_cole @NASASpaceflight #ISS pic.twitter.com/EIPxtoMATHMay 20, 2022
OFT-2 has successfully achieved all major goals as Starliner seeks to send astronauts to the space station on future flights. While the results of the spacecraft’s mission are still being judged against measurements with NASA officials, indications so far point to a crew boarding Starliner later this year.
Nagy described her photoshoot as “a totally surreal experience, really.” At this time, it was unclear whether the two vehicles could fit in a single field of view, but everything was bright enough and close enough to capture a few thousand images of the encounter, he said.
As you can see below, this image wasn’t the only one he produced during the mission. And between photo shoots, he uploaded content from the Starliner mission to his YouTube channel. (opens in a new tab).
Comparison image👀 @BoeingSpace #Starliner vs. @SpaceX #CrewDragon. 📷14″ Dob with 3xBarlow hand tracking @zwoasi 174MM with AP 642 IR PASS filter. @spacestationguy #SpotTheStation @VirtualAstro #astrophotography #ESA #NASA @BoeingSpace @skyatnightmag #Telescope pic.twitter.com/MYofoZ6FsDMay 25, 2022
#Boeing #Starliner comparison image. 14″ Dob with 3xBarlow @zwoasi 174MM hand tracking with AP 642 IR PASS filter. @spacestationguy #SpotTheStation @VirtualAstro #astrophotography #ESA #NASA @BoeingSpace @skyatnightmag @redditSpacePorn #Telescope #ISS @Space_Station pic.twitter.com/6cBI3fzAbGMay 21, 2022
Geraint Jones, professor and head of the Planetary Science Group at University College London, photographed the spacecraft and station during docking procedures from his location in Guildford, Surrey. Jones broke his image (opens in a new tab) with a handheld camera just an hour’s drive southwest of Nagy.
Starliner and #ISS passing over UK at 23:10 BST tonight – no processing. Handheld with Nikon P1000. Capture of Guildford, Surrey. About 1 hour from automatic mooring. #Starliner #OFT2 #spacestation #astrophotography pic.twitter.com/JGMmB2vqlrMay 20, 2022
As for Nagy, he was back in front of his camera when Starliner re-entered five days later, as the Boeing spacecraft sped through the atmosphere en route to a safe parachute landing at White Sands Space Harbor in Australia. New Mexico.
“Watch the full video of the event; it was spectacular,” Nagy said. on Twitter (opens in a new tab) On May 25, adding, “While I’m tweeting, Starliner is deploying the heat shield. So cool.”
@Boeing #Starliner and the International Space Station above London. Watch the full video of the event, it was spectacular! As I tweet, Starliner deploys the heat shield. Sooo cool 😁@Space_Station #ISSBetter quality video 👉https://t.co/0INBBHvZ1a pic.twitter.com/GqlPwUymWNMay 25, 2022
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