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  The Chatter Box : Travel
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Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 5 November 2018 6:28am
After the last post yesterday, I went to ISS live and was lucky that within 2 or 3 minutes, I saw the sun rise from the ISS on board external camera.
It was fascinating to watch the curvature of the earth then the clouds and coastlines appear over the 45 minute 'day'.
I tried to identify some of the parts of the ISS that were visible but all that I could figure out were a jointed antenna pole and a complex arm. In 2 dimensions it was difficult to make these identifications. There were also some boxes that looked like large RF tuners.
This morning I did the same and arrived in darkness so I waited... After about 10 minutes Venus rose first, then, most likely Mars (it was slightly pink) or perhaps Jupiter or Mercury during which time the curvature of the earth appeared and the sun rose again.
Absolutely fascinating experiences.
I know that the ISS orbits the earth on what I would call an offset trajectory. By that I mean that it moves from south west to north east (as viewed from the UK) and on each orbit the pass is offset by about 1,000 miles (this distance is a fairly good guesstimate) to the west (as measured at the equator).
Now, the circumference of the earth is 24,000 miles so every night with a clear sky the ISS should be visible up there from somewhere. It is large, reflects the sunlight and moves across the sky quickly (you'd have a maximum of about 30 minutes to watch it pass from horizon to horizon).
NASA has accurate ISS tracking information *1.
Now, the object of all this preceeding palaver relates to Mr P's travels. We can safely say he has been everywhere in the world and to do this has taken him over 40 years. With clear skies, as seen from the ISS, it is possible to see everywhere that Mr P has been in about 2 days! *2
I don't think I'll put this in the Joke Book because it is such a fascinating observation that I think we should all be amazed by the technological ability of humankind.
*1 But I've found that the European Space Agency (ESA) server tends to work better, probably because there's less distance between me and the ESA server than to the one at NASA in the USA.
*2 Except for the North and South poles. I'm not yet sure if the focal length of the ISS camera gives enough photographic width for the poles to be seen at either edge of the frame.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 18 November 2018 6:48am
I have been fascinated by the International Space Station's (ISS) on board cameras and check back with NASA or ESA's websites now and again to see the view from them. The view can befrom inside or outside the ISS in different directions. One view which has not been available to me up until now has been the high definition view looking straight down to Earth. This morning I got that view from the European Space Agency's (ESA) website where they have two options which are available simultaneously. The first option is the ISS tracker which shows on a map of the world exactly where the ISS is, and the second option is the view from the downward looking high definition (HD) camera.
My investigations this morning ended up with me watching the view of Earth from the ISS as it passed over South Africa. If you can find your way to view these dynamic images I can guarantee that it is very worthwhile because the ISS moves so fast that the view is changing all the time. The pass over South Africa took about 10 minutes and with very little cloud I could make out the course of a river and some geographic features; desert and what looked like salt flats.
My next ISS camera project is to use this ESA website facility when the ISS is making a nighttime pass over a heavily populated area to see if I can make out lights from any known cities.
After writing the above message I went back to the ESA website and was immediately enthralled by the view of south east Australia. The viewing camera angle had changed but I was fortunate enough to see the Australian coastline as it came into view. I'm going to have to get an atlas to keep by the computer so that I can identify the exact region in any particular country that is being seen.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 18 November 2018 9:26am
The views from the ESA and NASA cameras on the ISS are different. At the moment the ESA camera is showing a view of the Earth as it passes below and the NASA one is showing a view of part of the ISS including a solar panel as it slowly turns to keep facing the sun.
There is a part of south east Australia that is quite red at this time of the year.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 4 March 2019 6:22am
A USA launched spacecraft has arrived at the ISS (International Space Station). This is a first since the space shuttle programme was stopped. Launches from Kazakstan have been used to get astronauts to the space station in recent years. The docked spaceship can be seen on the publicly available NASA live video from the space station at the moment (If you get a blue screen after clicking on access to the live video from the ISS, it means the transmission is out of contact with the ground. Try again later.) This small spaceship is unlike the Soyuz craft normally used and it has a small NASA logo. It was funded by NASA and built by Boeing and another private space travel company whose name escapes me at the moment.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 2 May 2019 6:50am
I've just watched the NASA video stream from the ISS. It's the first time, for me, that the camera positioning was active. It was fascinating to see and notice how many of the external parts of the station can move in relation to one another.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 8 May 2019 5:47am
SpaceX Dragon has arrived at the ISS. I believe it was launched from the USA on 4 May. One of the ISS external cameras is keeping an eye (or perhaps many eyes!) on it.
Dragon is unmanned and it joined 5 other spacecraft at the ISS.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 17 May 2019 5:24am
I've just seen spectacular views of Earth from the ISS on the esa.int website (esa - European Space Agency). The ISS was passing over south of Australia and the high definition pictures of the cloud formations is beautiful. It will be over North America in about 20 minutes and I'm hoping to see some good night time city views then.
Unfortunately I got a black screen (out of ground contact) while the ISS was over North America. Later the view was somewhere near Madagascar - so relaxing watching the clouds pass by below.
Re: Space travel by Ken Dunn on 14 June 2019 5:52am
I've just had another fortunate visit to the ESA ISS camera on the space station. The screen was black except for a white dot moving downwards. This white dot was the moon and I watched it until it set. Immediately the sun rose in opposition to the moon and the only things illuminated by it were the two Soyuz spacecraft attached to the side of the ISS and a large antenna also attached. Fascinating.
The NASA camera on the ISS is looking at a part of its structure with a small part of the Earth's horizon also visible.
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