The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, April 11, 2016

Notes on the ISS

interactive tracker (it'll track via your IP address) linked to your Lat/Long
in case you want to know where the ISS (and several other satellites) are currently positioned
the map also indicates when the ISS may be visible to you

watch a "walk through" guided by Astronaut Scott Kelly here
(mock up at Kennedy Space center)

The main truss is 356' long and provides the structure on which the other components are attached.  I am surprised to realize the scale  as being the length of a football field (with the end zones).  The central components are labs, observation areas, and living quarters.  Including the solar array panels the size is comparable to the size of a football field.  The living area is compared to the size of a five bedroom home or the cabin space provided in a 747.  There are scale model mock ups at the Houston NASA facility which are open to guests. There are also storage and docking bays.

Incredibly, it "flies" at an average of 17,500 mph (15207 kts) traveling around the Earth every 90 minutes.  My window of opportunity to spot it is about 5 mins long from a stationary spot.  Night flying airline pilots are likely have the best siting advantage.  I read that the ISS' daily track is a comparable distance as that to the moon and back.

 From the ISS one would see a sunrise/set every 90 minutes (16 times per every 24 hour cycle) and there are several gorgeous images documenting that in the various galleries.  This image seems very similar to one I have seen which was take from an airliner at approx. 37000".  The ISS orbits at 249 miles above the surface (5280 feet in a mile, so -> 1314720 feet.  I walk around 5 miles a day and still can't truly visualize a mile without "seeing" the AUO runway during approach.  I scale 249 miles as a three hour drive - pretty good distance from here to there!

I especially enjoy seeing the "weather" images shared by the ISS crews.  
Typhoon Maysak

very cool photo galleries made available by Space Center Houston

The space shuttle Endeavour is transported to The Forum arena for a stopover and celebration on its way to the California Science Center from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 12, 2012 in Inglewood, California. The space shuttle Endeavour is on 12-mile journey from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center to go on permanent public display. 
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
... final destination, the California Science Center in South Los Angeles. 
~via The Altantic  Space Shuttle Endeavor's final journey


GretchenJoanna said...

Something I read in the New Yorker alerted me to the existence of the ISS, which I had completely forgotten about. So I read about it for an hour or more and told my housemate what I learned.... we think that we must not think about it ever because it is just another research laboratory somewhere out of sight, which doesn't affect our day-to-day life... but it's incredible, too, in a way that most labs are not, and I think my mind wants to relegate it to a sci-fi movie I would never be interested in watching. :-(

DeAnn said...

I was thinking of you a bit as I put these notes together! There are so many things competing for our time and interest that those things less seen tend to be less often thought of. I am such an enthusiastic fan of the Space Program and of the many beneficial spinoffs created from or because of NASA researchers. I love the idea of pushing our understanding forward and see the Astronauts as modern day Lewis and Clark "type" explorers. Because they are aviators I probably find the work more fascinating then the exploration of our planet's oceans (which would probably be every bit as profitable for the good of humanity as near Space work has been).
For your amazed delight I submit this link

sorry, you may have to copy and paste ... the list of everyday items is varied and impressive!

As always, it is my pleasure to to hear your thoughts - I think you're lots of fun!
(btw, I am a bit of a Sci-fi fan ~ I think you'd enjoy the Carl Sagan's book CONTACT, the book is better than the movie imho)

GretchenJoanna said...

I'm just getting around to following up on the comments - thank you for the link!