May 25

Boeing Starliner OFT-2 to the International Space Station

OFT-1  was the first failed unmanned mission to reach to the ISS, safely dock and undock then land on Earth). Finally OFT-2 (Orbital Flight Test-2) was ongoing. The Starliner spacecraft was launched atop an Atlas-V rocket and successfully reached orbit on the 19th May 2022. I was super excited about it! Not only because I finally wanted them to succeed. Or US to have 2 vehicles simultaneously being able to take people and cargo to the International Space Station (redundancy).  But as an ISS photographer I also wanted to photograph the event.


20th May 2022

1st flyby of Starliner

Shortly after launch I saw ISS and a fainter object a few degrees right behind it. That was the newly launched Starliner spacecraft. There was no chance to squeeze them into on field of view (yet), so I only used my Sony A7S. Here is my first video of ISS and Starliner.


2nd flyby of Starliner

Second flyby though looked much more promising. I listened to live Nasa coverage as Starliner was approaching ISS. It was the coolest feeling! When I first saw ISS rising, astronauts had to maneuver Starliner back to a 200m distance from the station. I listened to the chatter whilst starting recording to photograph the ISS. There was only one source of light, the two objects by now looked as one. So I didin’t know wether Starliner and ISS will be in one field of view or not. I followed my usual imaging method and I was hoping for the very best outcome.
When I opened up the video and saw the first frames, I knew straight away it was a successful imaging session.


I also made a summary video using my and other amateur’s photos about this unique event. Luckily many other saw and photographed the event.


25th May 2022

Starliner remained docked to ISS for a few days and eventually undocked from the station. Only a few hours before Starliner reentered Earth’s atmosphere I had a good ISS flyby. Here is a video farewell to Starliner on OFT-2 mission. T

he spacecraft later successfully landed in the New Mexico desert.
Mission success!


If you would like to learn more about manual ISS photography, visit my related section on this website of alternatively Martin Lewis’ webpage, an excellent source for good advices and techniques.


Skywatcher 250/1200 dobsonian telescope
Zwo ASI224MC colour camera
TeleVue 2.5x powermate

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