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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Watching the International Space Station Fly Over

Thanks to a tip from spaceweather.com, Billy, Maria and I were in position to watch the International Space Station fly over the Washington area on the evening of 23 February. The map above (from heavensabove.com) shows the pass we saw. All times are local. Maria spotted it first. She seems to have a talent for this -- she last spotted the ISS six years ago (at age 4!) from the streets of Central London.

This was a very nice pass to watch. We were in twilight. We first saw the spacecraft as it flew past Jupiter's position in the sky. It was red at first, then turned bright white.

This time we felt a special connection to the ISS because the twin brother of Astronaut Mark Kelly is currently on board. We all met Mark (and his wife Gabrielle) when they came to London. Mark will be heading up to ISS himself in April.
Godspeed to Mark and to his brother. And we're all hoping for the best for Gabrielle. They are very nice people.


  1. That was a very nice pass -- I happened to be watching it as well!

    Ditto to the wishes for Gabrielle, Mark, and Scott.

    Nick LaPointe, KB1SNG

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  3. There was an ISS pass due accross Essex, UK on halloween last year. I was out with the boys, XYL, my brother and his YL trick-or-treating. With PocketSat running on the smartphone, I tentitavely announced that it'd be comming over "any moment now". Just on queue, the cloud cleared, PocketSat went beep, a bright light appeared in the western sky, moving rapidly eastwards, and my reputation as the alpha-geek remained intact. Nice.


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