Friday, April 26, 2013

EYES ON THE SKY

For the last two nights in a row, SWMBO and I have been in the back yard watching the International Space Station pass over.  The first night it was for less than a minute but last night it lasted nearly three minutes.  It looks like a very high fast-moving airplane.  The space station is about 200 miles above the earth.  It takes only about 90 minutes to circle the entire globe so you can imagine it won't be visible long in any one area.

I learned a lot about the Space Station by going to this NASA web site.  For example, I learned that the station is currently being commanded by a Canadian, Chris Hadfield.  The rest of the crew includes two United States citizens and three from Russia.  The station has been in orbit for about 12 and a half years at this point.

The space station is larger than a five bedroom house and about the size of a football field.  Compact spaces but lots of room to rove around.  There are many other interesting facts in a video tour of the station conducted by a former commander, Suni Williams, accessible from the web page.

You can schedule email alerts to let you know in advance of a passing over your area.  Just click on the link for "Spot the Station".

The BRD was with us for the first night of viewing but I guess coming from the Star Trek generation it was no big deal for her.  I, on the other hand, was thrilled to watch it, especially last night as it moved across the sky and then just winked goodbye.

Oh and by the way, for those of you who may not have seen my thank you on Facebook, thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday Wednesday.  It was a great day and I am fortunate to have so many friends.

3 comments:

  1. Very cool. I never thought about looking up for the ISS. Many years ago I saw the space shuttle fly over Dallas, and then saw on the news about 10 minutes +/- later that it was at that moment touching down in Florida. It looked like a giant sparkler moving acroos the sky W to E. ;)

    S

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  2. It must be fun to watch and think about what they are doing. We just saw a short documentary on how they do without running water. It was fun to watch the floating water bubbles.

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  3. I think the space station is great, but back when I watched the moon landing I was sure we'd have colonies in space by now. Glad you had a great birthday.

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