This week's picture is from a series of unique pictures from the Flight International spaceflight archive, which goes back to the very beginning of the space age.

Are you able to tell us the event pictured below? What is the mission? Tell us your thoughts and send us your own amusing caption by emailing Kelley Malcher, Flight's webmaster.  Answers and winning caption will be published next week. Please supply a physical location in your message.


  Space flight picture of the week

spaceflight pic 15 mar 2007


spaceflight pic 2 mar 2007


"Hey Joe, just a little splash of soda"
Armando Rolla, Italy


"A squirt of cranberry in your Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (PGGB), Buzz?"
Robin D Gordon, UK


Thanks to all of the readers who suggested an explanation.

Last week's US department of defense image, released in 1988, was of a Strategic Defense Initiative programme concept Boost Surveillance and Tracking System (BSTS) spacecraft. It is using its infra-red sensors to detect and track the hot plumes of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles' (ICBM) first and second stage exhaust gases during the 5min of their expected boost trajectory flight phase. A BSTS would signal its detection of ICBMs to ground or space based battle management computers to order attacks on the incoming threat.