Of The International Space Station

While watching the sunset last night, I saw an aeroplane in the sky, I thought of shooting stars and all the wishes I could use right now… Also I haven’t seen a plane fly past in a while but I did spot an International Space Station once or twice and now I always scan the skies looking for the satellite going round and round the planet.

The International Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit and one of the largest artificial objects in space, its also the third brightest object you can see in the sky.

The International Space Station orbits at a height of 400 km and at gravity defying speeds of 28 800 km/h it only takes 90 minutes for the weightless laboratory to circuit the Earth. Astronauts aboard the craft experience 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

The first component of the ISS ( the Zarya Control Module) was launched in 1998 and assembly of the space station took over 40 missions as there was no rocket powerful enough to launch it in one go (its about the dimensions of a football pitch 72 m long by 108 m wide and 20 m high )

International Space Station exploded component diagram
International Space Station exploded diagram ESA

The first long term residents started arriving on 2 November 2000 and as of December 2018, the station is expected to operate until 2030.

The International Space Station is the world’s largest international cooperative programme in science and technology; a partnership between European countries (represented by ESA), the United States (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos)….. Although each space station partner has distinct agency goals for station research, each partner shares a unified goal to extend the resulting knowledge for the betterment of humanity.

The ISS was originally intended to be a laboratory, observatory, and factory while providing transportation, maintenance, and a low Earth orbit staging base for possible future missions to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids; additionally, it serves commercial, diplomatic, and educational purposes.

July 23, 2020: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are attached to the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the HTV-9 resupply ship from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Russia's Progress 75 and 76 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-16 crew ship.
July 23, 2020: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are attached to the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the HTV-9 resupply ship from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Russia’s Progress 75 and 76 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-16 crew ship.

Its been an eventful week in space which included a spacewalk and a delivery run to resupply with 3 tonnes of food, fuel, and supplies to the Expedition 63 crew members.

Photograph of Chris Cassidy taken by Bob Behnken
Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy on their 10th space walk taken by  Doug Hurley

Two NASA astronauts are also getting ready to return to Earth after a two-month stay in space. They will be undocking from international docking adapter on the 1st of August and expected to splashdown on the 2nd of August. (The first crewed splashdown in 45 years)

I wonder what it’s like living in space… A cup of coffee in space sounds like an idea I could definitely try, where do I sign up??? What Agency represents Africa’s interests in space..

How To Drink Coffee In Space | JabarPos Media - JabarPos

Have you spotted the space station yet?

Well guess what the space station follows an orbital path which covers about 90% of the populated earth’s surface and it has flown right over you… Look Up.

The space station is visible because it reflects the light of the Sun the same reason we can see the Moon. However, unlike the Moon, the space station is not bright enough to see during the day. It can only be seen when it is dawn or dusk at your location. A sighting opportunity can range from once in a month to several a week, since it has to be both dark where you are and the space station has to happen to be going overhead…

The position that the ISS will be in the sky changes every night. The space station does not take the same track or orbital path for each orbit and this change provides good visible passes roughly every 6 weeks in each location on Earth.

What does it look like?

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles (965 km) per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles (28,000 km) per hour).

12 Best Earth Pictures from Space - Technology.am

How do I know when and where to look?

•You can use the NASA website below to enter you location and you will get a list of possible times you can spot the space station.


If your specific city or town isn’t listed, register using the next closest one. The space station is visible for an approximate 50 mile (80 km) radius around each of the listed locations.

You can also check out its current orbit path at this live ESA tracking website


•Heavens Above also offers tracking for space traffic


On July 19, 2013, while exploring Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took this image of Earth from a distance of about 1.45 billion kilometers (898 million miles) away.

Dreaming about space because up there, from a distance Earth is just a tiny peck, I could use a wish right now…


The stark contrast between Libya and the Mediterranean Sea @Astro_Doug

PS what kind of resolution do these guys have on their cameras



  1. Such an interesting post! I’ll have to check out times to see if I can see it fly over head. I’m up all hours of the night with my work schedule. Maybe I’ve seen it’s brightness in the sky when I drive to work and I didn’t even realize what I’m looking at! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet someone has even thought thats a UFO haha..
      if you ever spot the satellite do tell apparently citings happen in six week intervals so its not uncommon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trying? Nah! I think some people are natural at it, I see you have got it.


  2. such an interesting post! i love the opening paragraph HAHA! thanks for sharing🤍

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me🤍🥺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful post with so many facts. I have downloaded the application that tells you when it is visible flying overhead. I have seen it with low power binoculars and hope to get some good ones to see it better.


    1. Glad to have been of help and thank you for the feedback, its always awesome hearing from someone finding something useful from all the work one puts in haha
      Have an awesome day and happy satellite watching ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

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