Right now, there are humans living and working off the Earth on the International Space Station. They orbit our planet from 250 miles above every 90 minutes, which means the crew sees 16 sunrises and sunsets every day.
If you’re in the right place, at the right time, the space station is visible to the naked eye. It looks like a fast-moving plane, only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster. The fact that it’s the third brightest object in the sky makes it easier to spot…if you know when to look up.
That’s where we can help! Our Spot the Station site allows you to enter your location and find out when the space station will be flying overhead. You can even sign up to receive alerts that will send you email or text messages to let you know when and where to look up.
Why is the space station visible? It reflects the light of the Sun, the same reason we can see the Moon. However, unlike the Moon, the space station isn’t bright enough to see during the day.
Over his tenure, President Obama has now invested $147 billion in America’s space program. Our elected leaders, on a bipartisan basis, have chosen to make this investment in our Agency, because they believe in our Journey to Mars and recognize that investments in NASA’s present are investments in America’s future.
Because the State of our NASA is strong, President Obama is recommending a $19 billion budget for the next year to carry out our ambitious exploration and scientific discovery plans. Here are the areas in which we’ll continue to invest:
We’re developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s. Mars is a rich destination for scientific discovery and robotic and human exploration as we expand our presence into the solar system. Its formation and evolution are comparable to Earth, helping us learn more about our own planet’s history and future.
International Space Station
Earth Right Now
We use the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future. Our Earth science work also makes a difference in people’s lives around the world every day.
Technology Drives Exploration
Sustained investments in our technology advance space exploration, science and aeronautics capabilities. We seek to improve our ability to access and travel through space; land more mass in more locations throughout our solar system; live and work in deep space and on planetary bodies; build next generation air vehicles, and transform the ability to observe the universe and answer profound questions in Earth and space sciences.
Thanks to advancements in aeronautics developed by NASA, today’s aviation industry is better equipped than ever to safely and efficiently transport all those passengers to their destinations.
The President’s FY 2017 budget provides $790 million to our Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. This investment will accelerate aviation energy efficiency, advance propulsion system transformation and enable major improvements in aviation safety and mobility. The future of flight will: utilize greener energy, be half as loud, use half the fuel and will create quieter sonic booms.
State of NASA Social
Today, we have opened our doors and invited social media followers and news media to an in-person event, at one of our 10 field centers. Guests will go on a tour and see highlights of the work we’re doing. You can follow along digitally on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NASASocial/lists/state-of-nasa-all1.
Geminids of the South : Earth’s annual Geminid meteor shower did not disappoint, peaking before dawn on December 14 as our fair planet plowed through dust from active asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Captured in this southern hemisphere nightscape the meteors stream away from the shower’s radiant in Gemini. To create the image, many individual frames recording meteor streaks were taken over period of 5 hours. In the final composite they were selected and registered against the starry sky above the twin 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes of Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Rigel in Orion, and Sirius shine brightly as the Milky Way stretches toward the zenith. Near Castor and Pollux the twin stars of Gemini, the meteor shower’s radiant is low, close to the horizon. The radiant effect is due to perspective as the parallel meteor tracks appear to converge in the distance. Gemini’s meteors enter Earth’s atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second. via NASA
European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake seen during his first spacewalk. Peake and NASA astronaut Tim Kopra successfully replaced a failed voltage regulator on Jan. 15, 2016. Peake is the first astronaut to wear a Union Jack patch during a spacewalk.