Spaceflight Insider

What did Scott Kelly capture in Nov. 15 image?

Exterior of the International Space Station NASA TV image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Image Credit: NASA TV

Crews on board the International Space Station (ISS) or on other spacecraft take frequent images from on orbit. Members of the public sometimes see things in these images that simply isn’t there. A recent image posted by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on Twitter has caused some to believe he captured an image of a UFO – but was that really the case?

Elements of the massive ISS (the station is roughly the size of a U.S. football field) extend and jut out from odd angles all over the orbiting laboratory. Pictures sent back to Earth frequently have these parts of the station within them.

There is some striking similarities between the “UFO” and parts of the ISS itself. For some reason the outlet (FOXNews) covering this “story” does not appear to have compared the UFO to the aforementioned structures on the ISS. The “two bright lights that seem to be connected to one another” that the reporter mentions – bear an awkward resemblance to the UHF antenna located on the Destiny Module of the ISS. In fact a comparison  between the image below and the video at the base of this article – virtually confirms the identity of the so-called “UFO.”

UHF Antenna on the International Space Station's Destiny Module NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The “UFO” is likely the Destiny Module’s UHF antenna. Photo Credit: NASA

The FOXNews journalist in the segment asks if Scott Kelly was trying to “tell us something” – before she stumbles over the words “UFOs” (“USOs“) and “cosmic” (“comic”). She also states that neither NASA nor Kelly has commented on the situation.

Portions of the ISS have been on orbit since 1998. Crew members frequently carry out extra-vehicular activities on the exterior of the station to place experiments in the hostile space environment – as well as to repair its damaged portions.

Kelly, along with Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are currently carrying out a year-long mission on the ISS – with a planned return to Earth slated for spring of 2016.

Video courtesy of FOXNews



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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