Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2001 December 17
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Leaving the International Space Station
Credit: Rosaviakosmos, CNES, NASA

Explanation: It was time to go home. During their eight days aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS), ESA Flight Engineer Claudie Haigner, Russian Commander Victor Afanasyev, and Russian Flight Engineer Konstantin Kozeev had completed several experiments and successfully delivered a new lifeboat. The lifeboat was actually the new Soyuz capsule they arrived in -- they returned home in an older Soyuz capsule that had been left six months ago. Haigner, an expert in rheumatology and neuroscience, studied the development of frog embryos under microgravity conditions. Pictured above on October 31, their Soyuz spacecraft undocks from the ISS while dark space and a blue Earth hover in the background.

Tomorrow's picture: Nebula in Pink and Blue

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.