A video of the 2009 Sarychev Volcano eruption has resurfaced and offers a unique perspective on a volcanic explosion. The Sarychev Volcano burst into life on June 12, 2009, following 20 years of virtual dormancy at the Russian volcano. The plume of ash and smoke was sent 18 kilometres into the sky following the eruption.
Thankfully for NASA, the ISS happened to be passing over the volcano, which is located on Russia’s Kuril Islands northeast of Japan.
The crew, which was led by Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, saw the massive plume for 400 kilometres above Earth’s surface.
In the video, the ash can be seen as if it were a solid pillar beaming into the sky.
NASA said: “The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island (48.1 degrees north latitude and 153.2 degrees east longitude) on June 12. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam.
“The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance; the surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption.
“The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column, and is probably a transient feature (the eruption plume is starting to punch through).
“The structure also indicates that little to no shearing winds were present at the time to disrupt the plume.
“By contrast, a cloud of denser, grey ash – most probably a pyroclastic flow – appears to be hugging the ground, descending from the volcano summit.”
The ISS moves around the Earth at an astonishing rate. The international project orbits our planet at a staggering 7.66 kilometres per second, taking little more than 90 minutes to complete a full trip around the planet.
As it flies around the Earth, it does so moving from west to east, following the shape of a horizontal “S” as it does so.
Unfortunately, a Russian space authority has claimed the ISS is coming to the end of its life cycle.
The ISS had been commissioned to continue until 2028 as part of an international collaboration in space.
However, a report from Russian manufacturer RSC Energia, the prime developer and contractor of the Russian crewed spaceflight program, has revealed the orbiting laboratory might not last that long.
According to flight director of the Russian segment of the ISS, Vladimir Alekseevich Soloviev, several elements on the ISS have been damaged beyond repair, and the space station might be forced into early retirement.
He said Russia foresees an “avalanche of failures” on the ISS.
Mr Soloviev told the Russian Academy of Sciences: “Until 2025, Russia has obligations to participate in the ISS program.
“There are already a number of elements that have been seriously damaged and are out of service.
“Many of them are not replaceable. After 2025, we predict an avalanche-like failure of numerous elements onboard the ISS.”