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Amazing video as Soyuz docks with space station

David Dickinson, Correspondent
May 29, 2015, 2:25 UTC

Sen—Spaceflight is still anything but routine, as a recent video reveals. On March 27, 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka launched aboard their Soyuz TMA-16M for a four-orbit, six hour, fast-track approach and docking to the International Space Station.

NASA has released an amazing dashcam-style video, embedded below, documenting the Soyuz approach and docking.

The video has been subject to several time lapses, but it is worth watching it in high definition at normal speed in its own right. You can see the spinning KURS antenna to the right, which retracts just prior the docking of the Soyuz spacecraft on the Poisk module.

The event occurred right as the station headed into orbital sunset, resulting in an unearthly glow. Many viewers claim to see micro-meteoroids zipping by, though we suspect that these are most likely satellites in a lower orbit also illuminated by the twilight Sun. It’s also worth noting how hard the Soyuz actually hits when it “soft” docks!

Kelly and Kornienko are part of the extended Year in Space mission to study the long term effects of an extended stay in orbit.

The ISS is currently entering a high beta angle phase where it is fully illuminated throughout the length of its orbit for a week.

The next event on tap is the return of crew members Shkaplerov, Cristoforetti and Virts aboard Soyuz TMA-15M on June 11.

The loss of Progress M-27M resulted in a reshuffling of the crew rotation, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will break the women's record for the single longest duration mission, logging a total of 200 days in space upon return.