ISS Passes

“And what writers have to feel like, when they suddenly discover, they’ve been read”.

A line from one of my favorite Aaron Neville songs, “Arianne”.

Lest I be accused of lumping myself in with real writers, I don’t. But one of the cool things about blogging is seeing how traffic is directed, and someone ended up here recently after searching “when is the International Space Station visible”. And I realized that they would not have gotten an adequate answer from my blog. So if it happens again, allow me…

I use 2 sites for ISS pass info. First, my Twitter feed includes @Twisst. Each time there is a visible pass over my zip code, @Twisst sends me an alert letting me know the time and location where the ISS will appear. What Twisst doesn’t tell me, however, is what direction she’ll be traveling. For that information, I go to this URL   http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings
This allows me to see what time the ISS will first appear, at what degree to the horizon, which direction it will travel, and how long it should be visible in the sky. It’s a simple application that requires you only to enter your zip code; it does the rest of the work for you. Besides standing outside and looking up, of course.

On April 29, the Space Shuttle Endeavour will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Just prior to docking with the ISS, and just after departing the ISS, both vehicles will be visible overhead. With just one more shuttle launch after Endeavour, these will be the last few opportunities to see them together. I saw Discovery a few weeks ago flying in front of the Space Station after undocking. It’s a spectacular sight. I urge you to go out and take a look.

4/24/11 Add another site to your ISS searches: http://www.heavens-above.com  You can again input your zip code and get a very detailed  list of passes over a 10-day period.

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