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  Image: Geographic Location Photo #: ISS029-E-34092 Date: Oct. 2011
Geographic Region: PACIFIC OCEAN

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  Re-entry of Progress Spacecraft 42P

Have you ever wondered how the astronauts and cosmonauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) take out their trash? Several times a year, robotic spacecraft carrying a variety of items including food, water, fuel, oxygen, medical supplies, replacement parts, and research materials are launched from Earth to dock with the ISS. These spacecraft are built and launched by the ISS international partners Russia, Japan, and the European Space Agency. After its cargo has been transferred to the ISS, the spacecraft is refilled with refuse, and then undocked and de-orbited--essentially using the Earth's atmosphere as an incinerator for both the spent spacecraft and the refuse.

This unusual astronaut photograph highlights the reentry plasma trail (image center) of one such spacecraft, the ISS Progress 42P (Russian designation M-10M) supply vehicle. The Progress spacecraft is based on the Soyuz design, and can fly autonomously or under remote control from the ISS. Progress 42P docked at the ISS on April 29 2011, and was undocked and de-orbited approximately 183 days later on October 29 2011.

The ISS was located over the southern Pacific Ocean when this image was taken. Light from the rising sun illuminates the curvature of the Earth limb (horizon line) at image top, but does not completely overwhelm the airglow visible at image top left. Airglow is caused by light emitted at specific wavelengths by atoms and molecules excited by ultraviolet radiation in the upper atmosphere.
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 152k
Mission: ISS029  
Roll - Frame: E - 34092
Geographical Name: PACIFIC OCEAN  
Center Lat x Lon: N x E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 0
Camera: N5
Camera Tilt: LO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 38  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction:   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 20111029   YYYYMMDD
Time: 125240   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 40.5S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 164W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 143   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 217   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: -28   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views: OCEAN  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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