I’ve seen the ISS – Have You?

Celebrate observing the International Space Station (ISS) with pride.

We have just released this new patch measuring approx. 75mm x 100mm (3 x 4 inches). See the Spaceboosters website for details.

I've Seen the International Space Station Embroidered Patch

 

How to See the Space Station From the Ground
 
 
Depending on your location on the Earth’s surface, the spacecraft’s position in orbit and the time of day, you may be able to see either the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits about 240 statute miles above the planet. A spacecraft will be seen as a steady — not blinking — white pinpoint of light moving slowly across the sky.Flight Dynamics Officers in NASA’s Mission Control Center use sophisticated computer software to predict when and where the space station will be visible to people on the ground.Visit the latest NASA web page for ‘Spot the station’ opportunities and alerts.

Image of a graphic showing how to locate a satellite during a viewing opportunity.

Image above: Satellite sighting graphic shows how to locate a satellite during a viewing opportunity. Credit: Richard Czentorycki (RSIS)/NASA.

Viewing Tips

  • For best results, observers should look in the direction and at the elevation shown in the appearing column at the time listed. Because of the speed of an orbiting vehicle, telescopes are not practical. However, a good pair of field binoculars may reveal some detail of the structural shape of the spacecraft.
The International Space Station marked its 12th anniversary of continuous human occupation on Nov. 2, 2012. Since Expedition 1, which launched Oct. 31, 2000, and docked Nov. 2, the space station has been visited by 204 individuals. At the time of the anniversary, the station’s odometer read more than 1.5 billion statute miles (the equivalent of eight round trips to the Sun). As of July 2012, there have been 125 launches to the space station since the launch of the first module, Zarya, at 1:40 a.m. EST on Nov. 20, 1998: 81 Russian vehicles, 37 space shuttles, one U.S. commercial vehicle, three European and three Japanese vehicles. The final space shuttle mission July 8-21, 2011, by Atlantis delivered 4.5 tons of supplies in the Raffaello logistics module.

A total of 162 spacewalks have been conducted in support of space station assembly totaling more than 1,021 hours.

The space station, including its large solar arrays, spans the area of a U.S. football field, including the end zones, and weighs 861,804 pounds, not including visiting vehicles. The complex now has more livable room than a conventional five-bedroom house, and has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and a 360-degree bay window.

Additional launches will continue to augment these facts and figures, so check back here for the latest.

International Space Station Size & Mass

  • Module Length: 167.3 feet (51 meters)
  • Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters)
  • Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
  • Mass: 924,739 pounds (419,455 kilograms)
  • Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters)
  • Pressurized Volume: 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters)
  • Power Generation: 8 solar arrays = 84 kilowatts
  • Lines of Computer Code: approximately 2.3 million
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