Passenger in flight catches SpaceX rocket; satellite from Brazil hitched a ride – 11/29/2022

A passenger aboard a United Airlines commercial plane was able to capture images of the Falcon 9 rocket, from SpaceX, as it was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), located in Cape Canaveral, Florida (USA). Two weeks ago, the Artemis mission left that same base for the Moon.

The bust took place in the early afternoon of Saturday (26), around 2:20 pm (US time). In the same launch, a Brazilian satellite took advantage of the ride on this mission — resupplying the International Space Station (ISS) — to leave Earth.

rocket in action

The video shows the exact moment when the white rocket leaves the ground and gains altitude towards Earth orbit.

From the images, it is possible to notice that the Falcon 9 launch took place on a cloudless sunny day, which allowed all passengers to follow the rare event. The position in which the plane was flying over the area also had a fantastic view.

“One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” said NBC photojournalist Nick Leimbachwho shared the video on his Twitter account.

The plane had taken off from Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, at 12:25 am on Saturday (26) bound for George Town, in the Cayman Islands, where it landed 3:30 am after takeoff. Its route crossed exactly through NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at the exact moment of launch.

launch objective

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is part of NASA’s CRS-26 mission, without a crew and heading to the International Space Station. In tow was the Dragon spacecraft, whose mission was to take supplies and equipment to the teams aboard the ISS.

One of the materials transported was the Lunar Microscope, a tiny device with the mission of collecting blood samples from the astronauts and analyzing them through a portable device.

The equipment will undergo tests to, in the future, be able to perform blood diagnostics for astronauts who are on the Moon or Mars.

Brazilian satellite went along

In addition to Dragon, the Brazilian mini satellite SPORT (Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task) was sent out of Earth through a partnership between the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and NASA.

The Brazilian equipment weighs 9kg and is the size of a shoebox, which is why it is considered a nanosatellite. It is going to investigate Earth’s magnetic anomalies, in the South Atlantic region, in addition to monitoring the ionosphere, which is located in the upper part of the Earth’s atmosphere.

A curiosity: the name of the Brazilian nanosatellite is a tribute to Sport Clube do Recife, one of the three biggest teams in Pernambuco. The suggestion was made by the leader of NASA’s Space Weather division, Jim Spann, who lived in the capital of Pernambuco during his childhood and became one of the team’s enthusiastic fans.

* With information from Marcella Duarte

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