Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santa's Soyuz Sleigh

The Russian space program inadvertently gave western Europe a Christmastime treat during the evening of the 24th.  People all across Belgium and Germany reported seeing a strange, bright object streaking across the nighttime sky.  The object was alternately thought to be either a meteorite or Santa's sleigh.

In reality, the streaking object was the third stage of a Russian Soyuz rocket, which a few days earlier had delivered a new crew of astronauts to the International Space Station.  Still, the timing of the reentry was fantastic.

The Russian space program managed to chalk up another amazing coincidence last Friday, though this time not as the result of a successful mission.  On Friday, an unmanned Soyuz-2 rocket carrying a military satellite failed moments after launch from Kazakhstan.  Debris rained down over an area of central Siberia, including a small tank from the rocket, which crashed through the roof of a house in the village of Vagaitsevo.  The house was located on Cosmonaut Street – seriously, what are the odds of that happening?
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: