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ISS (48 years spaceflight pictured) Image 2008/09/29(UT)
Ralf Vandebergh(250mm Newton)|
See this as my own personal imaging-contribution to more then 50 years spaceflight and NASA's 50th anniversary;
Last spring I started to search for the oldest spacecraft still in the Earths orbit which I would be able
to capture.My interest already quickly pointed to the series of Tiros satellites(Television Infrared
Observation System)from the early 1960's.
These satellites are really legendary as they are the first succesfull weather-imaging satellites in history.
The oldest satellite I imaged so far was a rocket body from the late 1970's.
I spent a lot of observing-time during the summer trying to observe a Tiros satellite but constantly I failed
due to different factors;faint appearance,no transparant skies at the right moment,no favourable passes,
simply not visible and so on.Though,I never gave up trying,until I finally succeeded on September 29 observing
a rare good pass of the Tiros 2 (at magnitude 3.2.I was amazed by seeing a satellite launched in the same
year as the legendary Echo 1 satellite(1960),with the difference that the Echo already burned up in 1968 and the
Tiros is still in the Earth's orbit,although it failed to function on January 22, 1961. If we could travel to the Tiros 2,
we would find there 2 old videocamera's(one low resolution/one high resolution)a magnetic tape recorder and
different infrared instruments.
Ok,I wasn't be able to find a satellite from 1957 to show the full 50 years spaceflight but this small 42inch by 19inch
satellite comming from a time before manned-spaceflight was existing,compared to the largest space-structure
from today,is still an exciting show I think....
All images taken by manually tracking using a 10inch Newtonian reflector)
[Ralf Vandebergh:Neighbourhood of Maastricht Netherlands]