Sunday, June 25, 2006

Progress M-57 observed

The Progress M-57 supply space-ship was launched from Russia in the afternoon of the 24th, heading to the ISS.

Based on a predicted TLE by Bob Christy I managed to see it passing near the zenith in bright twilight at 21:14 UTC. It was about mag. +1, easily visible with the naked eye notwithstanding the twilight, and steady. It was moving very fast, due to its still low altitude. It was very nice to see.

In a communication with Leo Barhorst, who observed the spaceship and its rocket on the same pass, it was resolved that the object I saw was indeed the Progress and not the rocket, as Leo observed the rocket to be flashing while Progress was steady (as was the object I saw).

Because of the still bright sky, no photography was attempted.

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