Movie day! Cool space station docking; Lake Chebarkul gives up 5 more meteorites


Expedition 37 arrives at the International Space Station last night 

Last night a Soyuz rocket carrying three members of the Expedition 37 crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan headed for the International Space Station. Instead of dallying in orbit, the crew took the fast lane to the station, docking fewer than 6 hours later.

I thought you’d enjoy the video. The quality’s great and you get to hear the audio too as the craft lines up and docks with the station. Funny how the Soyuz looks like an old propeller plane. Just a happenstance of angle (the wing-like solar arrays are edge-on to the camera) and shapes.

Flames, like this one pictured here, burn more perfectly in microgravity, helping researchers get a better understanding of the nature of combustion in space and on Earth.
Credit: NASA

After docking at the Poisk mini-research module, crew members Oleg Kotov, Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy were welcomed aboard shortly before midnight. The crew will study human physiology and health including how the body changes shape in microgravity as well as the effects of weightlessness on the immune system.

Science is happening all the time on the ISS. Last week the crew examined everything from combustion and fire suppression in space to studying how metallic crystals transition from liquid to solid when creating alloys.

Frame from the video of today’s latest meteorites found on the bottom of Lake Chebarkul. Click to watch. Credit: OSU Search-and-Rescue Service – Chelyabinsk region

Meanwhile back on Earth, Russian divers recovered five more hefty chunks of the Chelyabinsk meteorite from Lake Chebarkul today. Athough the video’s in Russian, it’s easy to see what’s going on. The fragments, measuring from 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) were taken back to the beach and weighed and bagged. Enjoy the cute diving mascot.

The mass of the entire Chelyabinsk meteorite as it entered the atmosphere is estimated at 11,000 tons (10,000 metric tons). Most of it broke into small pieces. What’s believed to be the largest fragment, a half-ton hulk at the bottom of the lake, remains buried under an 8-foot (2.5 m) layer of silt. Scientists are pumping out mud from around the meteorite and expect to fish it out by Oct. 4.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

3 thoughts on “Movie day! Cool space station docking; Lake Chebarkul gives up 5 more meteorites

  1. Tomorrow, I have decided on day time Astronomy. At 2:30 pm, the Sun and Moon should be visible. The Moon will be low in the west north west. Jupiter will not be visible but just to the upper left of the Moon.

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