What was this strange jellyfish astronauts on board the International Space Station saw? An alien? A rocket launch? A missile launch? One thing is sure, the cloud it left behind was pretty amazing!
So what is the source of this amazing space cloud?
Because of the US government shutdown, it was not a launch from NASA and no other launches were scheduled on this day.
On October 10 2013, however, the Russian Forces website reports:
Strategic Rocket Forces carried out a successful test launch of a Topol/SS-25 missile on October 10, 2013. The missile was launched at 17:39 MSK (13:39 UTC) from Kapustin Yar to the Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. According to a representative of the Rocket Forces, the test was used to confirm characteristics of the Topol missile, to test the systems of the Sary Shagan test site, and “to test new combat payload for intercontinental ballistic missiles.