November 17, 2019

Dashcam video records dazzling Soyuz docking


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A video camera mounted inside a Russian Soyuz capsule captured stunning views of the docking of a U.S.-Russian crew to the International Space Station in March, supplying a spectacular visual of a cosmic ballet occurring 250 miles above Earth.

Shooting through a window on the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft, the camera recorded the last phase of the capsule’s radar-guided rendezvous with the space station March 27. The spaceship delivered NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko to the complex.

Kelly and Kornienko are spending nearly one year on the space station, serving as living research subjects to help scientists learn how humans adapt to long-duration spaceflight. The data will help plan future expeditions to Mars, according to NASA.

The spinning object in the video is the Soyuz capsule’s Kurs radar navigation antenna.

The International Space Station — the largest spacecraft ever assembled — is about the size of a football field. The lab’s truss backbone extends 357 feet tip-to-tip, and its huge power-generating solar array wings span nearly 240 feet.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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