Time-lapse: Docking with the ISS.

Time-Lapse Video from a Soyuz Capsule Docking with the Space Station

Time-Lapse Video from a Soyuz Capsule Docking with the Space Station

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 9 2015 7:00 AM

Video Ridealong with a Soyuz Capsule Docking with the Space Station

approaching the ISS
Cue The Blue Danube.

Photo by Roscosmos, from the video

This is very cool: high-resolution video taken from the Soyuz capsule that brought astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka to the International Space Station in March 2015:

That opening shot is very 2001! The Earth dominates the frame, with the ISS hanging nearby. I love the changing angle, which again reminds me of the PanAm Moon shuttle scene from 2001.  The rapidly rotating apparatus on the Soyuz is an antenna; the time-lapse animation makes I look a little frantic.


I suggest watching the movie at 2X speed, since it plays out slowly over a half hour. Here are some highlights I enjoyed:

06:00: The changing angles and lighting at sunset are mesmerizing.

08:00: After some station-keeping, the Soyuz begins its approach to ISS (at 08:30 or so the antenna slows and stops its spin, too).

12:55: The antenna assembly moves aside to allow docking.

17:00: The approach to the docking ring, with contact at 17:40.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Amazing. Kelly and Kornienko have already spent the first two months of their year-long stay on ISS. After some problems with Soyuz launches, the return flight of Samantha Cristoforetti, Terry Virts, and Anton Shkaplerov has been delayed until June 11. I imagine that must give them mixed feelings; I’m sure they miss friends and family, but also relished the ability to stay in space a little longer.