The International Space Station (ISS) is the most complex international scientific and engineering project in history and the largest structure humans have ever put into space. This high-flying satellite is a laboratory for new technologies and an observation platform for astronomical, environmental and geological research. As a permanently occupied outpost in outer space, it serves as a stepping-stone for further space exploration. This includes Mars, which NASA is now stating is its goal for human space exploration.
The space station flies at an average altitude of 248 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth. It circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 kph). In one day, the station travels about the distance it would take to go from Earth to the moon and back. The space station can rival the brilliant planet Venus in brightness and appears as a bright moving light across the night sky. It can be seen from Earth without the use of a telescope by night sky observers who know when and where to look. You can use our Satellite Tracker page powered by N2YO.com to find out when to see the space station.
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