CEV-Soyuz joint mission to L2
An Orion class Crew Exploration Vehicle (AKA Deep Space Vehicle) is paired with a Soyuz TMA-M manned spacecraft for a joint deep space rendezvous with a satellite parked in a gravitationally stable Lagrangian point about 1 million miles beyond the orbit of the Earth's Moon. At this position, in this case a Lagrangian point 2, or L2, the Earth is between the spacecraft and the Sun resulting in the Earth eclipsing much of the Sun's light, however at this distance the Earth does not subtend an angle large enough to cover the entire disk of the Sun. What's visible of the Sun is a brilliant ring of light illuminating the spacecraft. (The streamers of light around the Sun are not the Sun's corona, but rather a way of illustrating the brilliance of the Sun as it may appear to the human eye.)
The manned spacecraft is directing a spotlight on a hypothetical satellite in order to better examine it. The core of this satellite is protected from the Sun via an attached shade like its real-world L2 counterparts the Herschel and Planck Space Observatories, and the James Webb Space Telescope currently under construction.
Copyright © Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
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