Normally, rocket launches are viewed from below - you see the rocket rising into the sky trailing a massive pall of smoke and disappearing in the distance. With yesterday's launch of the space freighter, the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle ATV-2, named after the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, things were different. One lucky person had a grandstand view: European astronaut Paolo Nespoli on the International Space Station took these great shots of the launch of the Ariane 5 rocket carrying the ATV-2 to orbit from above.
I'd say that Paolo Nespoli with his orbital photo blog is treading in the footsteps of his American astronaut colleague and photo-blogger "Astro_Wheels", aka Douglas Wheelock, who is now back on Earth from his mission to the ISS.
Please follow the The ATV-2 "Johannes Kepler"'s mission on ESA's ATV Blog.
Paolo Nespoli's first shot of the ascending Ariane 5 rocket on Flickr. Source: Paolo Nespoli/ESA. Please click on the picture to obtain an enlarged version.
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