Space can be poetic, and sometimes that poetry is visual. A wild view of a crewed Russian Soyuz launch on Wednesday looks to me like an angelic figure, wings spread, ascending toward orbit.
The photo comes from European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who’s currently on board the International Space Station. “We had a spectacular view of the Soyuz launch!” Cristoforetti tweeted along with two photos taken from the station.
Cristoforetti’s first photo is where I see the angel near the bottom of the plume. It’s the same shape you get when you stretch out in the snow and wave your arms and legs.
The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft was crewed by NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin. It safely docked to the ISS. Though US relations with Russia are fraught over the Ukraine invasion, the space rideshare with Roscosmos and NASA went off smoothly.
The ISS views of the launch are ethereal. You can compare that perspective to a NASA image taken from the ground in Kazakhstan.
Cristoforetti’s luminous photo reminds me of the time whencomplete with a halo in a Mars surface formation. It’s all about finding joy in the space experience, the poetry within the science.