back to article Unique imagery of Shuttle docked to ISS released

There's been something of a wait for it, but unique imagery showing the International Space Station with a Space Shuttle docked has now been released. The vid above and photo below were taken from a Soyuz spacecraft which departed the station on 23 May carrying Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman …

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Fantastic footage. Blue Danube Soundtrack required.

If it doesn't already. I don't have sound at work.

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Happy

Wow!

That is a sight I'd love to see in person. Now, why do we only have one of those in orbit?

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Lawks

Nice to see the ATV there too. Presumably this configuration is about as big as the ISS has ever been or will ever be.

Now, strap on some boosters and let's go explore the solar system, eh?

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WOW!

That is sooooo cool

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Happy

Big shuttle is big

Shuttle is not exactly dwarfed by the ISS, but a lot of the area is solar panels. Can't help but wonder how many shuttle trips before you might as well have just ridden the ISS into orbit.

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@Phuzz

Have you checked recently how much it cost, and what we're getting out of it?

Don't get me wrong, I think getting ourselves a permanent space base is the essential first step to permanent settlements somewhere other than this planet. Problem is that it's cost a vast amount of money, global politics and finance have made substantial dents in getting it running in the intended timeframe with the intended facilities, and its location means that quite a few potential gains from a permanent space base just aren't happening anyway.

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Vast amount of money?

Pocket change, compared to the arms industry. And the bank bailout could have bought a dozen of the ISS. Stupid fucking priorities. We should have tens of thousands of humans working daily in space by now.

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shuttle should stay up there

That looks fantastic. Why don't they keep a shuttle up there, for extra space, additional booster thrust for orbital adjustments and an escape/safety pod for emergencies?

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Power...

I think it's 'cos the shuttle has a limited battery system, and no solar panels, which is why its stay in orbit is limited, even when attached to the ISS.

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Alien

Re: shuttle should stay up there

We can't, because shuttles haven't got solar panels. Their electricity is provided by fuel cells, which entails their max autonomy is about two weeks; in the '70s energy efficiency wasn't a major project consideration for crew-carrying space vehicles.

A shuttle could probably be made to work with a hookup to the ISS power systems, but then its usefulness as lifeboat would be moot.

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Boffin

@Aleph0

"We can't, because shuttles haven't got solar panels. Their electricity is provided by fuel cells, which entails their max autonomy is about two weeks; in the '70s energy efficiency wasn't a major project consideration for crew-carrying space vehicles."

I thought this also. It is no longer the case.

"A shuttle could probably be made to work with a hookup to the ISS power systems,"

This *does* exist and the Shuttle is modified to use it, but it came late to the party The burn to undock and trigger reentry comes from storable propellants and they have on orbit storage for *years*. Likewise the APU's that drive the control surfaces use a storable monopropellant.

*But* the electrics, including the flight computers run off those fuel cells. US crewed spacecraft have *always* used H2/O2 fuel cells since Gemini as they supply drinking water and it's quite a power requirement (9-12Kw on takeoff/landing IIRC) to keep up for up to 14 days.

That would make Shuttle problematical for emergency undocking/return to Earth.

I'd like to think a modern design would make different trades. NASA *should* have either learned to get comfortable with *long* term on orbit cryogenic storage or gone the other way with a direct drive electrical generation system off a mono propellant APU, ideally with electric actuators (you might like to find a report called "The electric shuttle" written in the mid 80s). Note that Hydrogen peroxide *is* such a monopropellant but can be catalytic ally broken down into water and Oxygen. It's dense and *relatively* safe to handle (heavy rubber gloves and overalls, not nerve gas proof suits and separate air supplies). The boiling hot O2/steam mix coming from a cat pack is hypergolic with pretty much any reasonable hydrocarbon.

However it fails the NASA "Performance uber alles" test being inferior (but currently 6x cheaper) than the nasty MMH/NTO/UDMH stuff Shuttle uses for it's different systems.

Solar panels are a red herring. A Smart car battery pack could do the re-entry (but *not* the on orbit power and NASA would worry about "But what if you can't open the cargo bay doors, you'll run out of power with no way to recharge the batteries for the reentry".

The development of Shuttle systems really failed to find or use *any* cross sub system efficiencies.

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So.....

No solar panels. Fit some.

Power hungry systems... Much of those are not needed. No need for guidance etc. Turn these loads off. Replace other loads with lower lower stuff.

Your average LED-fondling greenie can show you what to do.

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Happy

Awesome

That is all.

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Go

Fake, can see the strings

In all seriousness, that is some beautiful-looking technology. The glow of our atmosphere behind it tops it off perfectly.

Eagerly awaiting N.A.O.M.I./L.I.N.D.S.A.Y.

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Happy

What amazes me

is how they have managed to build this extremely awesome looking structure while wearing great big mittens and not having a step-ladder to stand on.

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Joke

I ask my wife the same..

...when she burns the salad again.

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Meh

that's no moon...

it's space station

</obvious>

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Happy

Yeah

But I doubt those fighters came from it.

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Wow

That is pretty awesome!

It almost doesn't look real ... hang on..... *puts on tin foil hat*

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Woah!

Saw these yesterday, they are looking just as impressive this morning.

To be there must be so humbling

Being one of the shuttle generation I remember watching the first landing in primary school so its kinda sad to know the program is over.

Currently listening to an early Orb track - Peace in the middle east with that awesome sea of tranquility sample!

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Black Helicopters

No Stars!!!

Spaceflight is a lie! This fake footage proves it yet again!!!!

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FAIL

Muppet

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110602.html

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Trollface

You've got to be a troll.

I can take photos of the night sky without seeing stars.

In fact, if you get a big-ass telescope you can see more stars than you can with the naked eye. So by your logic, eyesight is also a lie. Good luck reading this comment.

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Facepalm

Um...

People actually took this post seriously? I took it as tongue-in-cheek, given the number of !...

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@AC 9/6/11 12:38gmt

Idiot. You can't see the stars in the daytime because your eyes/the camera lens have to adjust to a very small aperture to avoid suffering from the high light levels from Earth and Sun.

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Boffin

Eh?

Er, who took the photo of the Shuttle docked to the space station, and to what were they tethered?

Scary.

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Facepalm

Re-read the article

It tells you who, what, how, when, where, and (sort-of) why. Reporters love that stuff.

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Soyuz

It was taken out of the window of a departing Soyuz capsule, normally Soyuz operations and Shuttle visits don't coincide - apparently for safety, but it happened this time anyway. On the right of the ISS you can also see the ESA's ATV supply ship, so a pretty unique image all in all.

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Why

Why are shadows allowed on solar panels ?

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Happy

*click* Save

New desktop background coming right up...

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Arrgh

Dammit, we should be on Mars already!

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Unhappy

@Len Goddard

"Dammit, we should be on Mars already!"

And Von Braun thought we would be.

Of course if NASA is forced to work on a launch vehicle *designed* by Senators in an appropriations act you can pretty much forget it in your life time.

Look up "Tanker mode" and the findings of the last Augustine commission to see how.

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Alien

Aliens hiding in plain sight ....

Pause the video at 1:12 and have a look in the gubbins, particularly below that solar panel ...

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Happy

An Alien?

It looks like Kryten to me!

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Pint

Wonderful.

Just wonderful.

NASA et al, Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick and Strauss, thank you.

Shame Clarke and Kubrick didn't live long enough to witness this.

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Meh

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

The shuttle is using its grab arm to scracth its belly... cute!

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Really beautiful

Fantastic to see all the spacecraft docked to the space-station, particularly Endeavour.

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Pint

Good on ya, El Reg

You're the only guys to even mention there's a video, including 5 supposedly space-centric sites that I visit.

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Go

its been a long road...

getting from there to here...

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Alien

Why can't they leave the last shuttle up there?

Why can't they leave the last shuttle up there and come back to earth in a soyuz capsule? Give the ISS an extra module for free - can anyone say why this isn't a good idea?

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Damn!

No UFO's in sight!

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Coat

Too bad that...

... in space no one can clean your windshield!

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Anonymous Coward

Same pictures captured from Earth

http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/STS-134.html

Pretty amazing.

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Titles to replies are generally pointless

And in 3D! If only there was a 3d version of the full colour close up video... impressive none the less

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Coat

Turn the pic through 90 degrees and you get:

This weeks Scrapheap Challenge is to build a solar-powered spaceship....

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Happy

no blue danube waltz

no artificial gravity so no waitresses with dirnks walking upside down, no shuttle to the moon.

But this is real !

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