Columbia Launch from Space
March 06, 2002
This image of Columbia's STS-109 launch plume was taken on March 1 by the Expedition Four crew using a digital still camera on board the International Space Station. The space station crew shot this photograph as the station flew high over the Atlantic Ocean moments after Columbia's liftoff. The shuttle's pale plume is visible in the right side of this image, and the plume's darker shadow is projected onto the clouds to the left. From this vantage point the plume and its shadow are approximately parallel indicating that Columbia is in a long climb to orbital altitude while building velocity to remain in orbit. The inset photo is the scene from the ground at the time of launch.