International Space Station can be seen all over Earth


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The International Space Station orbits Earth with a SpaceX Dragon Capsule.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of NASA

Orbiting above everyone’s head and traveling at more than 17,000 mph, the International Space Station is the third brightest object in the sky.

Did you know it can be seen with the naked eye? There is an easy way to find out when and where to look in order to see this modern marvel.

Built in Nov. 20, 1998 and put into orbit by the Space Shuttle program, this orbiting space laboratory is a culmination of human ingenuity and the determination of 15 cooperating countries.

For the past 17 years, not a day has gone by that a human being has not been in space. This continuous presence in space has been beneficial for the space program, human life on earth and science in general.

According to NASA, “In the areas of human health, telemedicine, education and observations of Earth from space, there are already demonstrated benefits to human life. Vaccine development research, station-generated images that assist with disaster relief and farming, and education programs that inspire future scientists, engineers and space explorers are just some examples of research benefits.”

At 356 feet long, the ISS is the largest spacecraft constructed by man. With a price tag of more than $100 billion, it is the world’s most expensive single object ever. Maintaining orbital velocity at 17,000 mph, the ISS orbits the Earth once every 97 minutes.

That means astronauts are able to see 16 sunrises and sunsets in the course of a typical day aboard the International Space Station.

Seeing this incredible object in the sky is actually quite easy. Go to the website SpotTheStation.NASA.gov and type in your location. The website will provide all the available opportunities to see the ISS for the next two weeks.

The ISS is only visible for about 6 minutes at a time and it appears as a bright star streaking across the sky. There are no actual lights on the outside of the space station. The Sun’s light reflects off of its surface.

The International Space Station is one of humanity’s greatest achievements and proof of what can be done when countries work together.

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