broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

Manned Space Flight

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:19 pm

I may get an "Aw Sh-t" for putting this here, but here it is anyway.
This morning was a chilly one (16 F, -7 C) for Kentucky, but a little after 7:00 AM local I was treated to a great view of the International Space Station going almost directly overhead. On the NASA web site you can find out when it will be viewable at many cities around the world or for the more adventuresome and less computer challenged types you can calculate its arrival in your area from information at this site. Since it reflects light from the sun, you can normally only see it (if it is there) just before sunrise or just after sunset. This site will also give you information on the Space Shuttle (There is a launch scheduled on the 16th).

Go to http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

Over the last few years, I have seem the size and shape of the station change as they add more structure to it. At first it was a bright pin point, now, it is an elongated bright object. Enjoy.
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Manned Space Flight

Thu Jan 16, 2003 7:46 am

Hello Broke.

Yeah, it's quite an amazing feeling for me when I watch the International Space Station fly by overhead. Sometimes it will be visible from the western horizon all the way to the eastern horizon, straight up around 87 degrees, allowing for a viewing time of 5+ minutes. Most of the time though, it dissapears into the earth's shadow before it reaches the eastern horizon, which is great to watch, especially when you know exactly when that's going to happen because you're holding a computer print-out of it's flight path.

My girlfriend and I always walk our dog over to a nearby park when we know it's going to be a good, long, bright, flyby and the sky is clear. We only do that in the summer though. Our nights up here in Toronto this time of year are around - 14 celcius with a usual windchill factor of about -23 C.

It's hard to believe that 3 humans are way up there in that thing while its going around 17,500 mph.

Here's where I get my ISS viewing schedule (plus the passes of other satelites and the space shuttle).

http://www.heavens-above.com

First, I go to the bottom and click on SELECT.
Then I click on my country ...Canada.
Next, I type Toronto in the search box.
When Toronto appears in blue, I click on it.
The next page shows your options for your location, so I click on ISS.
Once the schedule of viewing appears, if you click on a certain date, the next screen shows a skychart of the stars with the path of the ISS...so you know where to look.

Pretty darn COOL Stuff indeed!  Big thumbs up

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
broke
Posts: 1299
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:04 pm

RE: Manned Space Flight

Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:31 pm

Thanks Chris for the link!!  Big thumbs up
I think it is cool to watch the reflected light of the ISS fade out as it passes into the Earth's shadow!!
I try to get some of the kids in the neighborhood interested, but the results are mixed.
I've always been enthusiastic and interested in learning and seeing new things, so I have a lot of difficulty with indifference.
I lived in Florida a couple of times and have the opportunity to watch several launches, some from the Kennedy Space Center and others from a distance.
A couple of memorable launches were;
The first Saturn V. Yes, I'm that old. You could see the second stage engine light off with the naked eye with the vehicle 165 miles down range.  Wow!
Sally Ride's Space Shuttle launch. A local radio station was playing "Mustang Sally" during the launch and that roll it takes just after it clears the tower is still an awesome sight to me.  Laugh out loud
Seeing the night launch of a solid fuel booster while attending the "24 Hours of Daytona" make you forget about the race cars for a moment.
I've decided that enjoying live as a wide-eyed kid is something that a person should keep. I've have the opportunity to meet Joe Kittinger and Joe Engle and their continued enthusiasm is contagious and wonderful.

Keep looking to the skies!! That reminds me, have you ever seen the movie "The Thing"; that is how it ends.  Nuts
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Manned Space Flight

Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:49 pm

Night launchs are fantastic to watch. Last one I remember I saw the sky light up yellow to the south, shortly there after I saw the shuttle lifting off with the flame behind it, only shortly after that did I hear the sound of the launch.
At worst, you screw up and die.

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