The International Space Station will once again sail across our skies this evening at about 6:04. I would head outside about ten minutes earlier to let your eyes get adjusted to the darkness. Look to the west-southwest and watch that star-like object come toward you. Remember, the ISS doesn’t blink…only planes do that. The ISS looks like a brighter star moving across the sky. It will be visible for two minutes, before it sets in the northern sky.
This is our first view of the ISS since the launch on Sunday that sent four new crew members up. This is only the second time we have sent astronauts to space from American soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. The first mission was this past summer, when two astronauts, Behnken and Hurley, were sent up to the ISS from Cape Canaveral.
The mission with Behnken and Hurley was a test flight of the first commercial vehicle to travel to space from the US. The Crew Dragon capsule was designed and built by privately-owned SpaceX. The mission Sunday night was the first operational mission involving astronauts arriving on the ISS from Cape Canaveral. They will be on the ISS for six months, performing various experiments.
Pictured below is the current crew of the ISS, with the newest arrivals wearing the red shirts. How lucky are these people!? I’m tellin’ ya, they need a meteorologist up there for a while and I think I know one! (ha)
This is the first time there has ever been a long-duration crew of seven onboard. Up until now, six has been the most people to be on the ISS for an extended time period. Seven-person crews will be the norm from now on.
When they arrived at the ISS Monday, they radioed back, “SpaceX, this is Resilience, excellent job right down the center,” Hopkins radioed SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California. “SpaceX and NASA, congratulations. This is a new era of operational flights to the International Space Station from the Florida coast.”
Eventually, you will be able to purchase a ticket and ride the Crew Dragon to the ISS yourself! Yes, it’s true. Commercial spaceflight is coming soon. You might want to go ahead and start saving your money, though, as a seat will cost ya 55 million dollars. Time to check that couch for change, right? lol
Enjoy the ISS flyover this evening. Make sure you take in the sight of that crescent Moon. It’s been gorgeous here lately. The two “stars” nearby are actually Jupiter (the brighter) and Saturn. They follow the Moon across the evening sky these days. Quite the sight, indeed.