View Full Version : I just saw the ISS...

2008-Mar-31, 04:52 AM
... and there was something trailing behind it. At first, I thought it might have been the shuttle, but it touched down on Wednesday. Then I saw that there's an automated transfer vehicle called the Jules Verne currently preparing to meet up with the space station tomorrow. The ESA's website says it's about 10m long, 4.5m wide, and its solar panels have a span of over 22m. An article I just stumbled upon on Softpedia says that the ATV has a magnitude of about 2.3, which is easily visible from the city here.

The second satellite seemed to be 40 degrees or so behind the ISS, possibly a bit more. Was it the Jules Verne? Or was it probably something else?

2008-Mar-31, 06:00 AM
I believe that lately the Jules Verne is ahead of the ISS.

ESA: Shooting a Par-3 hole in space: Three steps to ATV docking (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ATV/SEMQ29N5NDF_0.html)

20 March 2008
Now that the vessel is 'on the green' - in a parking orbit 2000 m ahead of the ISS [...]

40 degrees seems too far away.

Jules Verne is visible. I've seen time-exposures of ISS and the ATV.

Edit: Well, it looks like between close approaches, from the link above, the ATV keeps its distance, at 30 km from the ISS. I still think it is ahead.