ISS and the Space Shuttle Discovery

I went outside this evening hoping to see the ISS going over with the Space Shuttle Discovery docked to it. The sky looked a dark velvety blue and I couldn’t see any stars, which wasn’t a good sign. As I looked up, rain fell into my face. That meant no ISS tonight as it would be too cloudy. I was disappointed. I always find it exciting to watch the International Space Station gliding across the sky, but when it has a Space Shuttle docked to it, it’s even more exciting. I’m never likely to go to America to see the Space Shuttle, but when it’s docked to the ISS, it can come to me!

But I did see them both yesterday. They were visible a bit earlier in the evening while the sky was still light blue. I’d just done some shopping and had arrived back at my car in the supermarket car park when it was time to look for them. I was in the perfect position. In a large car park high up, with an open sky and no trees or other obstacles in the way. I didn’t have long to wait. Soon this lovely bright object was moving smoothly across the sky. It looked much bigger than usual as it always does when a Space Shuttle is attached to it. I could even see a rectangular shape jutting out from it. I wonder if that was the solar wings that Discovery had taken up and that had just been fitted, the last ones after more than a decade of construction of the International Space Station.

I’d love to see them again tomorrow, my last chance just before Discovery undocks and begins it’s journey back to Earth, but I’ll be working at the Theatre and will miss it. So I’m glad I saw them yesterday. To me it’s history in the making, an amazing acheivement. But no-one takes any notice. As the two amazing pieces of technology travelled overhead together, people were walking across the car park with their trollies full of shopping, not even looking up and seeing what was above them. What a strange world we live in.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “ISS and the Space Shuttle Discovery”

  1. Muldoon says:

    I think I saw it earlier at about 8.50 BST when there were clear stars visible too. I was outside looking at the moon with binoculars when I saw something yellowy-orange and bigger than a star moving steadily in the sky. It took a minute or so to cross the sky from my right to left as I looked towards the South. Was that it?

  2. Katie-Rose says:

    Yes I think you did see it Muldoon. Today’s visible pass from where I live was timed at 20:46:09 coming from the West so that fits your time and direction doesn’t it? Where you live won’t be very different in timing because it is so high up.

    I wouldn’t call it yellowy-orange, it looks to me more like a silvery light, but colour is subjective isn’t it. The only reason that we can see it at all is because sunlight is reflected from it.

    It may well have looked different when you saw it tonight, because although the Space Shuttle Discovery is no longer attached to it and has now landed safely in Florida, the Russian Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft is attached to it after manually docking today at 1304 GMT.
    There’s a lot going on above us at the moment!