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International Space Station
Viewing Prospects and Background Details

See the I.S.S. next: visible 22nd November - 12th December


Listen to David Moore speak about the International Space Station and more on radio HERE!

WARNING: This webpage is several years out date. Do not use any of the 'paid services' as they have been discontinued. You can get FREE predictions for Ireland on our facebook and twitter accounts (see links to those on the left side of this page). Some of the ISS information below is out of date but some of it is still relevant so do read on. We will overhaul this page completely when the lockdown is over and we have the resources to do so. Apologies in the meantime. May 2020


6 astronauts aboard ISS! More 'space chases' are due in the coming days so check here daily or sign up for the text alerts (see below)!

To get these predictions texted to your mobile:
text SPACE to 57003 now (see below for T&C). [discontinued]

Every time you see ISS please email us at
so we can report your sighting in our magazine report!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Read our ISS column (written by Irishman and internationally acclaimed space author Brian Harvey) in our magazine every month: If you're a beginner please join Astronomy Ireland and get Astronomy Ireland magazine posted to you every month! It is aimed at beginners especially! We are seeking new members, especially beginners, so please send this link
to everyone you know! And why not sign up yourself! Thank you.


text SPACE to 57003 [discontinued]

This is a subscription service: a modest charge of €1 will apply to each text sent (only one per day) and proceeds help us to promote interest in astronomy in Ireland.

Get the latest issue of Astronomy Ireland HERE or in your local branch of Dunnes Stores who are kindly supporting Irish products.

Read all the ISS sighting reports each month and internationally-renowned Irish space author Brian Harvey's monthly ISS column in our magazine!


I.S.S. News

Astronomy Ireland Chairman David Moore appeared on Newstalk to talk about the ISS. Listen to the interview HERE and browse the rest of our radio interviews HERE. Space Shuttle Discovery Seen in Irish Skies! Hear our Chairman David Moore on RTE's top rating MORNING IRELAND talking about I.S.S. & Shuttle HERE David Moore speaks to Dublin's 98FM about I.S.S. and Venus HERE

For the very latest developments on ISS read Irish space expert Brian Harvey's monthly column about what goes on aboard the space station every month in Astronomy Ireland's magazine "Astronomy & Space". Brian Harvey is a world expert on space, with several books about the world's space agencies and their projects to his credit. To order the magazine click HERE 

  Please email and tell us what you see so we can report it in our magazine


Background details:
International Space Station
The Biggest Man Made Object In Space
by Colm J. Cannon, Space Flight Correspondent


The International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility currently being assembled in space. The station is in a low Earth orbit and can be seen from earth with the naked eye: its altitude varies from 319.6 km to 346.9 km above the surface of the Earth (approximately 199 miles to 215 miles). It travels at an average speed of 27,744 km (17,240 miles) per hour, completing 15.7 orbits per day. The ISS is a joint project between the space agencies of the United States (NASA), Russia (RKA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and several European countries (ESA).

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB, Brazil) participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency similarly has separate contracts for various activities not done in the framework of ESA's ISS works (where Italy also fully participates). China has reportedly expressed interest in the project, especially if it is able to work with the RKA.

The Chinese have not been invited to become involved, however. The ISS is a continuation of what began as the U.S. Space Station Freedom which after several financial "problems" was eventually cancelled in the early 1990's. The overall Space Station project was eventually combined with several other previously planned space stations: Russia's Mir 2, the planned European Columbus and the Japanese Experiment Module. The projected completion date is 2010, with the station remaining in operation until around 2016, possibly much longer. As of 2007, the ISS is already larger than any previous space station.

The first section, the Russian Zarya module was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the 20th November 1998. It was followed on the 4th December that year when the Shuttle Endeavour carried the Unity Node 1 module into orbit and connected it to Zarya two days later. Constructed has continued apace since then apart from a brief period following the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

The ISS has been continuously inhabited since the first resident crew entered the station on November 2, 2000, thereby providing a permanent human presence in space. The crew of Expedition 15 are currently aboard. The station is serviced primarily by Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and by the three surviving U.S. Space Shuttle orbiters Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. At present the station has a capacity for a crew of three. Early crewmembers all came from the Russian and U.S. space programs. German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter joined the Expedition 13 crew in July 2006, becoming the first crewmember from another space agency. The station has, however, been visited by astronauts from 14 countries, and the Expedition 16 crew will include members from all five space agencies that form the ISS partnership. The ISS was also the destination of the first five space tourists who each paid up to $20 million for the privilege.

I.S.S. crosses the sky each night FOR ONLY ONE OR TWO MINUTES and can be seen by anyone with ordinary eyesight as an EXTREMELY BRIGHT star-like object, high overhead. "It's an amazing sight" said David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland's magazine "Astronomy & Space".
The Station can be up to 100 times BRIGHTER than even the brightest stars in the sky, so it is a wonderful sight to the naked eye.
ISS is also THE most expensive object every built by mankind. If the Shuttle fleet had completed it in a couple of years time it would have cost an estimated 100 billion dollars! So this is a unique object to go out and watch each evening.



Text the word SPACE to 57003 to get a text message each day telling you when the ISS will pass overhead. You will receive one message each day, and only on the days when it is visible. Each message received costs €1. To unsubscribe, simply text STOP to 57003.








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