Depending on your location on the Earth's surface, a spacecraft's position in orbit and the time of day, you may be able to see the International Space Station (ISS) or visiting vehicles as they orbit about 240 statute miles above the planet. The space station looks like a fast-moving plane in the sky, but it will be seen as a steady – not blinking – white pinpoint of light. Typically it will be the brightest object in the night sky (except for the Moon). It is bright enough that it can even be seen from the middle of a city!

The International Space Station, ISS, passes over the Bay of Biscay and Southern France, as viewed from my roof in Cheshire in the north-west of England (19t. As Earth's climate changes, the International Space Station will be watching from above, helping provide unique insights needed to keep our planet safe. This story has been published on: 2021-05-10. To contact the author, please use the contact details within the article. 5 hours ago  The suite of Earth-observing payloads attached to the Japanese Experiment Module is shown as the International Space Station orbits over the southern Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand. Credit: NASA On Earth, we often look toward the sky longing to know what resides in the rest of the universe. Meanwhile, 250 miles above our planet.

NASA operates the “Spot The Station” service to provide sighting opportunities in a text listing by city. You also can sign up to receive notices of opportunities in your email inbox or cell phone. Please visit:

Where Is The Space Station Live

Interpreting the Data

The text listing is in a column format, a sample of which is shown below:

Satellite Local
Max Elevation
ISS Tue Nov 14/06:22 AM 4 66 10 above WSW 31 above NE

The left column is the satellite. The next column is the local date and the local time. The third column gives the duration, or the length of time in minutes the spacecraft is expected to be visible, assuming a clear sky. The fourth column gives the maximum elevation the vehicle will achieve above the horizon (90 degrees is directly overhead). The fifth column tells the direction and elevation at which the spacecraft will become visible initially. The sixth column gives the direction and elevation at which the spacecraft will disappear from view.
This sighting opportunity is illustrated in the figure below:
Image above: Satellite sighting graphic shows how to locate a satellite during a viewing opportunity. Credit: Richard Czentorycki (RSIS)/NASA.

Viewing Tips

For best results, observers should look in the direction and at the elevation shown in the appearing column at the time listed. Because of the speed of an orbiting vehicle, telescopes are not practical. However, a good pair of field binoculars may reveal some detail of the structural shape of the spacecraft.
More information is available on:

Satellite sighting graphic shows how to locate a satellite during a viewing opportunity.

Viewing The International Space Station From Earth

The four astronauts of SpaceX's first full mission to the International Space Station (ISS) have splashed back down to Earth off the coast of Florida.

It is the first US splashdown under the cover of darkness since NASA's Apollo 8 returned from the moon in 1968.

SpaceX's Dragon capsule parachuted into the Gulf Of Mexico just before 8am BST (3am local time).

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The four astronauts headed home in the same Dragon capsule that delivered them to the space station last November.

NASA's Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi had been orbiting Earth since November last year and undocked from the International Space Station around six hours prior to entering the atmosphere.

Shortly after the Dragon capsule left the ISS, Glover tweeted 'Earthbound', as he was hurtling back towards the planet from orbit. Imagemagick tutorial.

International space station from earth india

The 167-day mission is the longest for US-launched astronauts, almost doubling the previous record of 84 days which was set by NASA's final Skylab crew in 1974.

SpaceX is the first private space flight operator to take a crew to and from the ISS for a long mission.

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Where Is The Space Station Right Now

Elon Musk's company launched a test mission early last year with two astronauts on-board, who only spent two months aboard the ISS before returning to earth.

After floating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida's panhandle, a team on the boat Go Navigator collected the capsule and lifted it on to its deck, to help the crew disembark safely.

All being well, the team will be taken from the boat via helicopter to NASA's headquarters in Houston, Texas, following medical checks, so that they can be reunited with their families.

Once Go Navigator has docked in Florida, the space capsule will be put on the back of a flat-bed truck and driven to NASA's Cape Canaveral, so it can be checked and assessed.

Despite the night-time arrival of the crew, the coastguard enforced an 11-mile wide restricted zone around the splash site, after a number of boats swarmed the capsule when it returned from its test mission in August, posing safety risks for the team.

The capsule will be refurbished ready for SpaceX's first private crew mission in September, which will see a tech-billionaire travel into orbit for three days, 75 miles above the ISS, alongside competition winners and a doctor from a charity.

View International Space Station From Earth

SpaceX will then launch its second fully-manned mission to the ISS for NASA in October.

Viewing International Space Station From Earth

NASA has recently turned to private companies in an effort to end its reliance on Russia for space launches after retiring its shuttle fleet in 2011.

Video Of International Space Station From Earth

Elon Musk's company began unmanned supply runs to the ISS in 2012, and Boeing is expected to begin its manned missions early next year.