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ISS gets a lot of traffic!

February 24, 2011

Kepler during docking procedure

The ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle, named for German astronomer Johannes Kepler, arrived at the station and docked at the Zvezda module at 10:59 AM EST today. The Discovery launched this afternoon and will dock Saturday afternoon.

Discovery lifts off for the final flight

As I write this, no decision has been made yet if the ISS crew is going to do a flyaround of Discovery using the Soyuz docked at the station. I hope so – it would be cool to see the images they could take. We’ve seen a lot of photos of the ISS from a shuttle, but I don’t recall seeing a real photo of the ISS with a shuttle docked.

Images like that would be very helpful to NASA as well. ISS operations have become so mundane that people probably don’t remember it’s even there. Most people know what the shuttle looks like, though…seeing it with the ISS would give them a good sense of the scale of this gigantic thing men have built in space. It could help inspire the next generation of engineers who will build the follow-on stations and vehicles.

 

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