An engineer, telescope maker and self-described sky watcher from St. Albans, England has captured incredible video footage of the Soyuz MS-13 capsule approaching the ISS to dock.
Quickly assembled PIPP video from UK ISS pass at 23.40BST- Soyuz launched this afternoon nearby & just about to dock with ISS!— Martin Lewis (@SkyInspector) 21 июля 2019 г.
Big, big thanks to @metrolinaszabi for alerting me to this rare imaging opportunity. I salute man's adventures in space on this anniversary @apollo_50th pic.twitter.com/VRrEnugvcD
The detailed footage, taken by Martin Lewis from hundreds of kilometres away (the ISS maintains an average altitude of 400 km above the Earth at any given time) brought the engineer praise on Twitter, with users awestruck by the “very impressive footage” and calling it a “fantastic catch”.
First time I’ve seen this from ground based scope. Anyone challenge that? Great catch.— Space Shuttle Almanac (@ShuttleAlmanac) 21 июля 2019 г.
Martin that is simply amazing— Rob Davies (@RobDavi59651213) 21 июля 2019 г.
Saying he was given a heads up on the opportunity to snap the docking from a fellow astronomy photographer, Lewis also shared important details about the telescope and camera he used, saying it was a “222mm home-built [Dobsonian telescope] and [a] ASI174mm camera with red filter”.
The video was then assembled in a program called PIPP “by collecting together all the frames that contained the ISS and centring them. Some frames missed the Soyuz off the edge of the frame and that is why it blinks off,” he explained.
Three crew members were aboard the Soyuz which docked at the ISS early Sunday morning, including Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and US astronaut Andrew Morgan. The trio joined three others, Russian Alexei Ovchinin as well as Americans Christina Koch and Nick Hague, who have been aboard the ISS since March. Ovchinin and Hague will complete their mission in October and return to Earth, with the four remaining astronauts on board to be transferred to ISS Expedition 61.
The Soyuz which launched Saturday docked aboard the ISS after making just four Earth orbits, thanks to recent efforts by Russian engineers to considerably shorten travel time aboard Soyuz shuttles.
Saturday’s launch coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon, which took place on 20 July 1969, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.