Re: Earth-based view of STS-133 Spacewalk 2

From: Ralf Vandebergh (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2011 - 21:02:56 UTC

  • Next message: Ralf Vandebergh: "Re: Earth-based view of STS-133 Spacewalk 2"

    There was a minor error in the time on the image.  This is the corrected 
    From: Ralf Vandebergh 
    Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 9:26 PM
    Subject: Earth-based view of STS-133 Spacewalk 2
    Earth based view of STS-133  EVA (Spacewalk) 2 
    After almost exactly 2 years, another opportunity appeared, to capture a spacewalking astronaut from the ground.
    In the years of experiences, I learned that a lot of factors are needed to have a chance to capture a spacewalker.
    Aside from a favorable pass, clear weather with acceptable seeing and so on, mainly location and lighting of the
    astronaut have to be favorable which means a question of luck. In the 2009 image, it was luck that the astronaut
    was in front of an open structure on the Earth-facing side. Now was the luck, the astronaut was mounted on
    the SSRMS or Canadarm 2 and was maneuvering in the direction of the Columbus Laboratory for tasks.
    On the ground-based image at left you can see the sunlight shining on the Japanese Kibo Lab, you see the same
    in the Helmet-cam view of spacewalker Bowen. Further obvious in the ground-based shot is that the Columbus
    Laboratory itself is during this pass almost completely invisible, and is probably hidden behind the shadow of
    the Shuttle or other big structure of the Station. You see that also in the Helmet-cam shot.
    With the Columbus Lab covered in shade, realize that an astronaut in combination with the thick end of the
    Canadarm is a considerably big object, and this must be the speck of light we see at the area pointed out.
    The screenshot from Bowens Helmet-cam was made just a few minutes before the pass over here. in the
    meantime, the astronaut has moved just a little closer to the Lab.
    The images are taken during an 84 degrees culmination Northern pass on March 2,  2011. That is exactly
    10 degrees more culmination compared to the spacewalk images taken 2009;
    Ralf Vandebergh
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