On September 2006, the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis was scheduled to land back on Earth after a successful 12-day STS 115 Mission, which aimed at delivering and installing two massive solar panels on the International Space Station (ISS). However, what was supposed to be a routine landing became an extraordinary event that made headlines around the world.
As the space shuttle was delayed for 24 hours due to the presence of an unidentified flying object (UFO). The encounter with strange object during the STS 115 mission has been a subject of debate and controversy ever since, as some claim it was just a case of misidentification, while others suggest it was a genuine encounter with extraterrestrial life.
What Is The STS 115 Mission?
The STS-115 mission, also known as Atlantis-115, was the 116th space shuttle flight and the 27th flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The mission’s primary objective was to deliver and install two massive solar arrays, known as P3/P4 trusses, on the International Space Station (ISS).
The installation of these solar panels was crucial for the ISS’s electrical power, as they would increase the station’s power supply by 50 percent, allowing it to accommodate more crew members and conduct additional research.
The STS 115 mission was a remarkable success, with the Atlantis crew completing all the scheduled tasks, including the installation of the solar panels, in a record time of just four spacewalks. The crew also conducted several other scientific experiments and cargo transfers, making it one of the most successful space shuttle missions to date.
On September 19, 2006, when the crew members of Atlantis were preparing for their return home after successfully completing STS 115 mission, they informed the Mission Control Center that, an object was seen moving in a co-orbital path with the Orbiter. The astronauts spotted the object using an onboard TV camera, but unfortunately, the resolution of the images was not high enough to identify the object.
The UFO Incident During STS 115 Mission
The object was described as a “bright white light,” which appeared to be moving at high speed and changing direction frequently. The crew members reported that the object was not a star or a satellite, as it was too close to the shuttle and too bright. The mission control team tried to identify the object and contacted the United States Air Force (USAF) for assistance, but they were unable to provide an explanation for the object.
NASA, on the other hand, provided a more down-to-earth explanation for the STS 115 ufo incident. According to the agency, the object was most likely a Russian rocket body that was in orbit at the time, and its trajectory coincidentally took it near the landing site.
The agency stated that they were aware of the rocket body’s presence and had been monitoring it, but due to a technical glitch, they were unable to provide timely information to the shuttle crew about the object’s location.
The STS 115 mission was a significant milestone in NASA’s space exploration history, and the installation of the solar panels on the ISS was a major achievement for the agency. However, the UFO incident that delayed the shuttle’s landing for 24 hours added an element of mystery and intrigue to the mission.
Although NASA provided a plausible explanation for the incident, the debate and controversy surrounding it continue to this day, and the incident remains a subject of interest for UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike.
Debates And Controversy
The object encountered during STS 115 mission sparked debates and controversies, with some claiming that it was just a case of misidentification or a natural phenomenon, while others suggested it was a genuine encounter with extraterrestrial life. Some conspiracy theorists even went as far as to claim that the incident was covered up by NASA, and that the agency was withholding information about the true nature of the object.
While the Russian rocket body explanation provided by NASA seems plausible, it is important to note that there were still some inconsistencies with this theory. For example, the object encountered during STS 115 mission was described as a “bright white light,” which does not match the characteristics of a typical rocket body.
Moreover, some experts have pointed out that the Russian rocket body in question was not in the immediate vicinity of the landing site at the time of the incident, which casts doubt on the explanation. Furthermore, some of the crew members who witnessed the object during STS 115 mission have spoken out about their experiences, adding further complexity to the incident.
One of the crew members, astronaut Scott Kelly, mentioned in his book “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery” that he saw the object on the shuttle’s radar screen and that it was moving erratically. Kelly also mentioned that the object was visible to the naked eye and appeared to be changing shape.
Another crew member, Dan Burbank, also spoke about the incident during an interview with the Huffington Post. Burbank stated that he saw a “bright light” that was unlike anything he had ever seen before, and that the object was moving too fast to be a plane or a helicopter.
He also mentioned that the object was not visible on the shuttle’s radar screen, which suggests that it was not a Russian rocket body. The incident has also been analyzed by several UFO experts and enthusiasts, who have offered their own theories and explanations.
There were experts who proposed theories that the object encountered during the STS 115 mission was a secret military vehicle that was being tested in the area. Regardless of the true nature of the object, the incident highlights the challenges and complexities of space exploration and the possibility of encountering unknown phenomena.
It also underscores the importance of maintaining an open mind and being willing to consider all possibilities, even if they seem unconventional or unlikely. As we continue to explore and push the boundaries of space, it is inevitable that we will encounter more mysteries and unexplained phenomena, and it is up to us to remain curious and open to the unknown.
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