December 16, 2011
ISS018-E-040777 (17 March 2009) --- A close-up view of Space Shuttle Discovery's main engines was provided by Expedition 18 crewmembers on the International Space Station. Before docking with the station, astronaut Lee Archambault, STS-119 commander, flew the shuttle through a Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver or basically a backflip to allow the space station crew a good view of Discovery's heat shield. Using digital still cameras equipped with both 400 and 800 millimeter lenses, the ISS crewmembers took a number of photos of the shuttle's thermal protection system and sent them down to teams on the ground for analysis. A 800 millimeter lens was used for this image.
Topics: Human spaceflight, Spaceflight, Space exploration, Rendezvous pitch maneuver, Space Shuttle thermal protection system, Expedition 1, Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-119, Edwards Air Force Base, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Manned spacecraft, Space Shuttle program