Current header Photograph / The Shuttle circling the ISS
July 18, 2011 by petecrow
Atlantis photographed from the ISS, July 10, 2011. -- courtesy of NASA-TV (http://www.nasa.org)
This photograph from the ISS is during the approach of the shuttle to docking on July 10, 2011, and yes, it is a real photograph courtesy of NASA-TV. When the shuttle undocked and began heading for home on July 19, 2011, the ISS was scheduled to turn 90-degrees and the shuttle was going to execute a 270-degree fly around while still traveling in tandem with the ISS. And then the shuttle was scheduled to slip away into its own orbit and begin its two day journey back to Earth.
If the shuttle does land on time shortly before 6 am, Thursday, July 21, 2011, the ISS will be passing 235 miles above Atlantis as she turns toward the runway. If, as is possible, both the shuttle and the ISS are visible, they may well appear for a few moments that morning to be traveling together. And then the ISS will fly on — to 2020 or perhaps 2028 or longer.
And Atlantis will land, never to fly again.