There were brief but incredible scenes of spaceflight history this evening as the SpaceX space shuttle appeared over Ireland for mere seconds.
The space shuttle took off from Florida this evening with two astronauts on board and will dock with the International Space Station tomorrow. It was visible twice in Irish skies, once around 8.45pm and once around 10.15pm.
While many people confused it with other aircraft in the sky, a few eagle-eyed people captured tantalising footage of a spacecraft heading towards space.
Look very closely at this video and you can see a small dot travelling at 27000kph.
#SpaceX over ireland excuse the video, I had to zoom like mad lol pic.twitter.com/mmlYVbcytW
— . (@cocaalicearoc) May 30, 2020
Video of #SpaceX travelling over the west of #Ireland at a blistering 27000 km/hr. The video does not do this incredible feat justice. Mars geology coming soon 🤞 pic.twitter.com/wrmSZHvOnm
— James Symons (@JamesSymons10) May 30, 2020
Managed to see SpaceX over Ireland - it was nowhere near the moon! #SpaceX pic.twitter.com/077SG0u9fh
— Kevin Doyle (@KevDoyle_Indo) May 30, 2020
“They’re laying the foundation for a new era in human spaceflight,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said before launch. “It’s an era in human spaceflight where more space is going to be available to more people than ever before.”
There's a lot riding on this mission for NASA and SpaceX
“Everything in our trajectory is towards that particular moment to launch people on a spaceship,” Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of build and flight reliability at SpaceX, said during a press conference. “And it’s a huge step.”
Here's how Verge.com explains the next phase of the mission.
Behnken and Hurley will spend the next 19 hours in orbit and try to get some sleep before tomorrow’s next big event: docking with the space station. And they need their sleep, too. SpaceX and NASA had originally hoped to launch on Wednesday, May 27th, prompting the astronauts to go through the entire pre-launch process. But bad weather forced a delay to today. “Bob and Doug, who have now gone through this exercise twice, they need to get some rest,” Bridenstine said after the launch. “But I can guarantee you there will be no rest for a good amount of time while they’re up there in orbit.”