Shuttle’s atmospheric reentry

While watching yesterday the last landing of a space shuttle, I heard that one of the astronauts on the ISS was observing the reentry from the cupola and I hoped that he had a camera with him. Today NASA has released the first photo of an orbiter’s reentry as seen from space, and it is spectacular!

Atlantis landing seen from the station
STS135 entering the atmosphere (Credits NASA)

The picture shows the ionization track of the air around the orbiter and . The interpretation of the picture can be misleading and can look like the photo of the ascent during launch. Actually we have to understand that the glow at the top is heading towards the back, the less brighter trail, which is already fading,  shows that the spaceship comes just from under the space station.


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