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International Space Station tracker – how to see ISS as SpaceX astronauts fly there


NASA and SpaceX are set to launch two astronauts into space this evening, on a 400 kilometre journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS orbits our planet at a height of around 400km, meaning the space station makes around 16 trips around Earth every single day.

It’s regularly visible from the UK, although not at the most sociable times.

NASA explained: “All sightings will occur within a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset.

“This is the optimum viewing period as the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the darker sky.”

While the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take around 19 hours to reach the ISS, both the rocket and the space station will be visible from the UK tonight!

The ISS is set to pass over the UK at 22:11 BST, while the rocket will be visible at around 22:17 BST.

NASA’s Spot the Station website is updated regularly, and allows you to pinpoint timings for sightings in your area.

For your best chance to see the ISS, head to an area with little light pollution, such as the countryside.

NASA advised: “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.

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NASA and SpaceX launch

“It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).”

NASA’s rocket launch will take place at 15:22 EDT (20:22 BST).

Mirror Online will be covering the launch live, so make sure you check back in tonight for all the latest announcements.

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