The last shuttle mission (Atlantis / STS-135) - July 2011

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This image might be the last one of a space shuttle in orbit. It has been taken on July 21st 2011 at 08:27:48 UT, just 21 minutes before Atlantis' deorbit burn, from the area of Emden, NW Germany. Transit duration: 0.9s. Distance to observer: 566 km. Speed in orbit: 7.8 km/s. Atlantis appears on 4 images, combined below:

The Calsky image below shows the last miles of Atlantis in orbit with the transit site in Europe, the deorbit burn position and the landing site in Florida:

All images of this page taken with Takahashi TOA-150 6" apochromatic refractor (focal length 3600mm) on EM-400 mount, Baader Herschel wedge. Canon 5D mark II at 1/8000s, 100 ISO, working in continuous shooting at 4 frames per second. Transits forecasts calculated by

Solar transit taken on July 19th at 7:17 UT from Czech Republik (North of Praha), showing Atlantis and the ISS side by side, 50 minutes after undocking. Transit duration: 1s. ISS distance to observer: 676 km.

Solar transit taken on July 15th from France (Caen, Normandy), showing Atlantis docked to the ISS. Transit duration: 0.7s. ISS distance to observer: 520 km. Speed in orbit: 7.5km/s (27000 km/h or 17000 mph).

The three images of the transit combined:

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