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Discovery's Last Go Round, As Seen From the Ground

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the talk-about-amateur dept.

ISS 53

SoyQueSoy writes to point out this "incredible footage of the passage of the International Space Station and Discovery, taken on February 28th 2011 at 17:58UT from the area of Weimar, Germany. A stereoscopic 3D version is also included for your viewing pleasure, as well as footage from February 26." Perhaps as interesting is the hardcore home telescope set-up used to get the images, a motorized, satellite-tracking Takahashi EM400.

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Tumbling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35375654)

It never occurred to me how rarely the solar array points at the sun

Re:Tumbling? (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35375730)

It's not tumbling; it's flying past, while the camera tracks it.

Re:Tumbling? (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376120)

The solar panels also have the ability to rotate and track the sun. Which begs the question of why they seem to be pointed in different directions.

Re:Tumbling? (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376506)

Not only can the panels rotate along their own axis, like louvre slats, but the entire panel cluster can rotate relative to the axis of the station. The reason they seem to be pointed in different directions is that they ARE pointing in different directions. The panels are locked in place when a shuttle docks and undocks, so they are probably set in an orientation that gives them the most average power while they are locked in position.

Re:Tumbling? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378066)

On a point of pedantry, it "raises the question", not "begs the question".

http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

Re:Tumbling? (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378418)

If you're going to be pedantic, the referenced example is actually wrong. The human eye is rather good an unconsciously identifying the "ugly" of humans. Commonly, in absolute terms someone can be "ugly" because they are slightly asymmetrical and yet consciously they would not be able to specifically say why the ugly person is ugly. Thusly, simply saying they are "ugly" would be accurate and accurately describe someone to which another viewer would immediately understand.

Accordingly, contrary to the link you provided, saying someone was unattractive because they are "ugly", does in fact, answer the question.

Re:Tumbling? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35379584)

I completely agree. For all intensive purposes Slashdot needs to ban just these loosers and send them back to grammer school. But I guess some people could care less about useing proper english.

Re:Tumbling? (5, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376308)

The thing you have to remember is that the way the station rotates is completely independent of its position in its orbit around the Earth. It is not tidal locked like the moon. The station most likely faces the sun constantly. It looks like it is tumbling because it is orbiting every 90 minutes. If it has one side facing the sun, then from our point of view it rotates on it's axis every 90 minutes.

Re:Tumbling? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378098)

Actually, the station itself is always pointing the same way "down" and "forward", i.e. the windows of the Cupola pointing at the earth, the European/Japanese Modules forward. The solar panels can be rotated independent of the entire station. The Station appears to rotate mostly because of the change of perspective while it's flying overhead, much like you see the front, the side and then the back of a car passing you.

Re:Tumbling? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35379818)

XVV (X-axis parallel to the velocity vector) as you describe, is only one of the attitude programs available to the ISS, and granted, it is the one most flown. During assembly procedures, the ISS was in an inertial attitude. The station can also assume a "down and sideways" or YVV attitude, with the Cupola pointing at the Earth and the long axis of the station parallel to the direction of travel. This orientation is usually only used in situations where the angle between the sun and the plane of the ISS's orbit is quite high (a few days in December, apparently). When the shuttle is docked, the ISS uses an X-TEA, X-axis Torque Equilibrium Attitude, which is similar to XVV (also known as LVLH). The mass of the shuttle affects the center of mass of the station, and the attitude control systems need to compensate for that.

For the most part, you are correct about the orientation, and your point about the perspective change is spot on.

Amazing (1)

enzo_romeo (756095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35375702)

Love how stable the video is while the objects are traveling by at 17,000 mph. And what a great set up. Wow. Just. Wow. Wonder if there are some old Apollo parts up there still in orbit he can capture?

Re:Amazing (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376262)

Did you see the fellow he's got doing his tracking electronics? With a neckbeard that fierce, his kung-fu must be great indeed.

Am I the only one? (5, Insightful)

Sam_In_The_Hills (458570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35375718)

Am I the only one who hears The Blue Danube while watching that?

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35375798)

Am I the only one who hears The Blue Danube while watching that?

Actually, I was hearing "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies...

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35375990)

Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" for me.

Re:Am I the only one? (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376048)

I was expecting a Klingon Bird of Prey to de-cloak at any moment.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35377222)

Cochrane: "How'd you do that?".
Geordi: "It's your telescope."

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Informative)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376898)

Please mod this comment up! Parent just made an epic Elite reference that many a' you youngun's with your high fallutin' ATI cards probably don't get.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35380484)

I started trying to match rotation with the joystick that wasn't sitting on my desk. Now what's the button for the docking computer again?

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35381766)

I didn't hear anything, but for some reason I couldn't open my garage door after watching that.

Farewell, Space Shuttle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35375728)

The fact that there is no replacement with the capabilities of the Space Shuttle speaks volumes.

Good bye, old friend.

Re:Farewell, Space Shuttle (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378284)

That the greatest barriers to our exploration of space are no longer technological ones, but matters of political and financial pragmatism and conservatism, speaks more. When we're ready again, we'll be up there, and with even more cool stuff than today.

wow (4, Insightful)

mojo-raisin (223411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35375890)

That Thierry guy is quite a master with a telescope & camera. He's also taken incredible shots of the shuttle traversing in front of the sun.

Just browse his website (assuming /. doesn't kill it).

Re:wow (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376014)

I agree. Too bad he is not a master with HTML5 so I could see this video on the Web instead of having to go to my one computer that has FlashPlayer on it, especially when all of my GPU's have have hardware decoders for the same video file he is hiding in FlashPlayer, same as everyone else's GPU's.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35376194)

Don't invest in apple then?

Re:wow (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378406)

from an average office though it was viewable.

it's cool enough stuff to not waste time on fancy html on it. it's quite accessible too, you could probably find the download link for the divx even if you were blind.

anyways, you can make a fan page for the guy. he's got a better setup than many nations, isn't that funny..

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35379898)

The video and images are cool. But I also like the second article link that shows how they took an expensive astronomy tripod and hacked it into some sort of "poor man's" cinetheodolite. (Poor man's in quotes because it's obviously not a cheap rig, but when compared to the real thing...)

Made my day. (3, Insightful)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35375938)

I love it. That was some fantastic imagery. That just won "best link of the day" for me. Thanks for that!

Re:Made my day. (1)

SoyQueSoy (1999370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376338)

Hey, you're welcome, and thanks be to you : awarding my first accepted /. submission with "best link of the day" made my evening!

Re:Made my day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35377594)

This is Zombocom and welcome to YOU who have come to Zombocom!

Let us bring up some more interest (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35376422)

There don't seem to be enough comments on this thread. Maybe I can draw up some interest. Natalie Portman.

When is America going to build one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35376442)

I'm looking forward to the day that the American Space Station is ready, then Socal can finally take it's place in world astronomy.

Does anyone know.. (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376902)

This is an honest question: Now that shuttle discovery has been retired, what exactly are they going to be using to dock to the ISS for both bringing astronauts and supplies to/from there? I read the wikipedia article about the ISS but it didn't say anything.. I don't know why this is such a mystery to me, but I didn't think other countries were actively launching spaceships to it..

If anyone knows the answer, it would be helpful.

Re:Does anyone know.. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35376956)

For humans, Soyuz. Hopefully eventually Dragon.

For cargo, Progress, ATV, and whatever the JAXA craft is called.

Re:Does anyone know.. (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377012)

The Japanese vehicle is the HTV, for H-II Transfer Vehicle (H-II being the rocket). You forgot to mention that Dragon will be being used for cargo starting this year (probably), as well as Orbital Science's Cygnus (which will probably be pushed to 1H 2012). The US isn't completely out of this yet!

It's also worth noting that you can see all of the currently operational vehicles in the video, if you know what you're looking for, and that this is the only time that will ever be true. Once again kudos to Thierry.

Re:Does anyone know.. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377082)

From the introduction section of the article you supposedly read:

The station is serviced by Soyuz spacecraft, Progress spacecraft, space shuttles, the Automated Transfer Vehicle and the H-II Transfer Vehicle

Not only do other countries launch to the ISS, they do so regularly.

Last chance to see the Space Shuttle in action (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377854)

I'm impressed Thierry was able to pull this off and with such good timing. In the future, it looks like he's just going to be able to look at the ISS and any Soyuz.

Holy Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35377860)

If he had told the crew, they could've made a spacewalk and waved back at him - and it would be visible in the picture!

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