Thomas Pesquet, French astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA), shared on Twitter a photograph with which it was proposed to show how fast the International Space Station (ISS) is moving while orbiting the Earth.
Pesquet, who is also a great photographer, held his camera shutter open for 30 seconds. This exposure resulted in a night image of the Earth that shows the rapid speed of movement, and where luminous lines represent the trajectory of the lights of a city. During the period of that capture, the ISS traveled 235 kilometers, he details.
As Pesquet himself explains, it is difficult to get used to the idea that the ISS It moves at 28,000 kilometers per hour (about 7.6 kilometers per second) and even more reflect such a figure in a snapshot.
“We are so high that it seems that we are not moving so fast,” he wrote in a tweet that went around the world.
The photographer held the shutter of his camera open for 30 seconds. (Photo: Thomas Pesquet)
The ISS is at about 400 km from the Earth’s surface and completes an orbit around it every 90 minutes. That means it goes around it about 16 times in 24 hours.
However, despite its astonishing speed, the astronauts who inhabit it do not perceive anything extraordinary or unusual in this regard while living and working there.
This statement by Pesquet was just a few hours before leaving the ISS to make some repairs outside the ship. The astronaut launched himself into the vacuum of space for the third time in his life, together with the American Shane Kimbrough.
Thomas Pesquet, (left), with the other crew :, Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough and Akihiko Hoshide. AP Photo
The two crew members know each other well, having already done two side-by-side spacewalks in 2017. But this one, the first since they arrived at the ISS in late April, was technically unknown.
The two “mechanics” had to deploy a solar panel new generation, called iROSA, the first in a series of six modules designed to increase the power production capacity of the station.
While Pesquet wore a red striped suit and the French tricolor, Kimbrough’s suit was adorned with the flag of the United States.
Thomas Pesquet repairing the solar panels of the ISS. Photo: AFP
NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Mark Vande remained inside the ISS and They operated the long robotic arm that transported the two astronauts to their workplaces.
His mission was to install a new solar panel. It was a complex Astronautical Extravehicular Activity (EVA) that requires good physical condition. The fix lasted almost seven hours and was only partially completed by an unexpected failure.
The suspension was due to NASA technicians observing a disruption in Kimbrough’s data transmission. To check the condition of the suit, as well as a sudden increase in pressure in his cooling system, he had to return to the ISS airlock. and perform a reboot before returning.
Shane Kimbrough had to return to base due to a technical problem with his suit. AFP photo
Meanwhile, Thomas Pesquet was waiting for him, dangling in the void of space clinging to a robotic arm. The mission finally resumed, with the control data stabilized. Shane Kimbrough was never “in danger,” said NASA.