After a long time, the local (Hyderabad) newspapers covered news of the International Space Station (ISS) stating that at 6 p.m. today, the ISS would be visible all over India as a small bright light for two minutes and in that context wrote about the 10th anniversary of the Space Station on 2nd November 2010. However, for those following news on the internet, there is always some interesting information about ISS. Just two days back there was news of ISS urgently correcting its orbit to avoid collision with Space-garbage. It was maneuvered to an orbit 700 metres higher, and its speed increased by 0.4 metres per second. And then there is regular news of unmanned cargo spaceship carrying food, fuel and other supplies to ISS and about the interesting phases of docking and glitches that are overcome. There is always detailed news when the crew changes or some tourists visit ISS, but however the most memorable news for the entire world must have been when a Japanese couple got married there. And in these ten years much has been accomplished by enlarging the ISS and by many expeditions and experiments and making the whole project of traveling and living in space a big success. However the rumor of abandoning it towards 2016 due to lack of budget is depressing, I hope it is not true.
Though the newspapers have mentioned of the visibility of ISS in India this evening, it would not be possible for anyone without the knowledge of the exact bearings. As a consolation and to all those interested in seeing the ISS, I am offering a link to – “Live Real Time ISS Tracking”: http://www.n2yo.com/ , and the above photographs will give you an idea of ISS and life on it.
You may read on, if you are interested in knowing some basic facts about ISS. The ISS was constructed as a joint venture of NASA, Russian Federal Space Agency, The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, The Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency. The first team of crew arrived on ISS on 2nd November 2000. The crew normally of six members consists of Americans and Russians. They stay on ISS for duration of about six months, and then they are replaced. They have a routine just as on earth but live under zero gravity condition, which is not easy. The shape and parts of the ISS and its size in comparison to a Boeing 747 aircraft can be seen in the above pictures and its weight is 370,000 Kg. It orbits around us at an altitude of 360 Km. and at an average speed of 27,743 Km./Hr. That means, it orbits earth in just 91 minutes, that is 16 times every day! Congratulations and Best Wishes to all those involved with ISS and Good Luck and Long Life to ISS!