Rocket launch seen from space

Launch of ATV-2 seen from the ISS

Expedition 26 crewmember Paolo Nespoli aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of the Ariane 5 rocket (squiggly vertical line), just after if lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

THESE REMARKABLE PHOTOS were taken by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the International Space Station (ISS) on 16 February 2011, just minutes after Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Johannes Kepler lifted off aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

The images show the rising exhaust trail of Ariane, still in its initial vertical trajectory phase. The trail can be seen in the image above as a thin streak just beneath the Station’s robot arm.

The unmanned supply ship will deliver critical supplies and re-boost the ISS during its almost four-month mission. It is due to dock with the ISS on Friday, February 25, Sydney time.

Launch of ATV-2 seen from the ISS

An enlarged view of the Ariane 5 launch. The rocket's exhaust plume has been blown into a squiggly shape by different winds at different altitudes.

Adapted from information issued by ESA/ NASA.

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Filed Under: Featured storiesNews ArchiveShuttle / StationSpaceflight

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