Bookmark and Share
20/11/2008

Space Station On View

News Image

There's a rare chance this weekend to see space travel at first hand as the NASA shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station are both together.

The shuttle and its seven astronauts blasted into orbit earlier this week on a mission to add a new level of space station construction to the only continually manned object orbiting the earth - and people in Northern Ireland can get a chance to see the action - simply observing from the ground.

Should meteorological conditions allow it, 'naked-eye' observers may even see the space ship alongside or adjacent to the 220-mile-high space station on Sunday.

Surprisingly for many, with the use of the right data, and by moving away from city-based light interference, an earth-bound observer can catch a glimpse of the action.

Thanks to websites, such as www.heavens-above.com - which provide free access for registered users for data on individual locations around the globe - area such as north Belfast and Newtownabbey are in the frame for this weekend - but only for a few minutes each time.

On Sunday, when the shuttle is with the ISS, anyone who can get away from bright lights - and allow time for their eyes to adjust - can look south west at 6.24pm for a 90 second window when the ISS will be at the right attitude and position.

Light from the setting sun refracts off the fast moving ISS - and hopefully the shuttle too - to provide a sight of what appears to be a very fast-moving 'star' that is briefly lit-up, before being absorbed into the night as it moves on around the globe.

There's further opportunities to view on Monday too and throughout the coming week as well, with longer 'windows', but the chance to see the shuttle joined with the ISS is a rare sight, and if all goes to plan, will be possible on Sunday evening.

The shuttle is on a mission to hook-up extra cooking and sleeping equipment as well as a new water recycling system so the station's crew can expand next year.

The space agency has just 10 shuttle flights, including this one, before the fleet is retired in 2010 to make way for a new rocketship capable of taking astronauts to the space station and, eventually, the moon.

See: www.heavens-above.com

See: www.nasa.gov/topics/shuttle_station/index.html

(BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 July 2009
US Delegation Met By Stormont 'New Boy'
A high-powered delegation of US Congressmen has been welcomed to the Stormont Assembly. Greeted by the newly appointed Junior Minister Robin Newton, (pictured) and the Executive's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, they had a working lunch at Parliament Buildings yesterday.
28 July 2008
Minister Welcomes New Newry Homes
A newly built housing scheme in Newry has been welcomed by the NI Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie. Speaking at the launch of Chequer Hill, the Minister said: "This is an important scheme that will quickly provide 33 much needed family homes for Newry.
25 August 2016
New Instrument Landing Technology Installed At Belfast International Airport
New advanced instrument landing technology to help aircrafts land safely in poor visibility has been installed at Belfast International Airport. The work was carried out by NATS, the UK's leading provider of air navigation services, as part of a £900,000 investment.
11 August 2016
UUP Slams New PSNI Pilot Scheme
A new PSNI pilot scheme aiming to deal with people who leave petrol stations without paying for their fuel has been slammed by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). UUP MLA Jenny Palmer is calling for the new scheme, which has been introduced in Lisburn & Castlereagh and Ards & North Down, to be scrapped as soon as possible.
03 August 2016
New Walking Trails Open On Shores Of Strangford Lough
New walking trails have officially opened on the shores of Strangford Lough in Co Down. The National Trust bought land for £4 million as part of a restoration project at Mount Stewart. Three miles of new walking trails have now opened for visitors to explore 'archaeological wonders'.
02 August 2016
300 New Jobs Announced For Belfast
Three hundred new jobs are to be created in Belfast by London-based financial services company, Tullet Prebon. The company is to establish a major technology centre in the city, to support its international growth strategy, creating the new jobs over the next three years.
20 July 2016
Plans For New Forecourt Approved
Around 30 construction jobs are to be created after plans for a new £2.5 million retail and fuel forecourt adjacent to Belfast International Airport were approved. Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council gave the green light to the project which will create 35 new jobs when the development is complete.
19 July 2016
New Secretary Of State For NI Meets With Justice Minister
The new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, has met with Justice Minister Claire Sugden MLA.
15 July 2016
Call For New NI Secretary Of State To Start Work Immediately
The new Northern Ireland Secretary of State has been called to start work immediately and to recognise that the majority of people living in NI voted to remain in the European Union (EU). Alliance Leader David Ford made the call after the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May selected James Brokenshire for the role.
05 July 2016
US Owned Firm To Create 12 New Jobs In Belfast
A US owned firm is to create 12 new jobs over the next year after announcing plans to set up a European team in Belfast. MIK Fund Solutions confirmed the posts will have average salaries of £63,000.
17 June 2002
Derry City Airport launch new website
The City of Derry Airport has launched their own website this week, providing the public with all the latest information they require about the airport and the most up to date news for the North West region. The website www.cityofderryairport.
08 June 2011
ISS Spacemen Offer NI Careers Advice
Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have swapped 'space walks for career talks' as they teamed up with high-flying NI students.
19 October 2011
Carryduff Tesco 'Given Green Light'
Despite criticism and complaints, planners have said that the proposed Tesco store at Carryduff on the outskirts of south Belfast should be given the go-ahead.
01 June 2011
Hope For Postponed A2 Dualling Scheme
A stalled Co Antrim road redevelopment plan has been discussed at Stormont - with indications that the new Ulster Unionist Regional Development Minister might favour a re-think.
20 May 2011
Sinn Fein Backs A5 Road Scheme
A Sinn Fein MLA, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Regional Development Committee at the NI Assembly, Pat Doherty, has insisted that any decision on the future of the A5 by the new Regional Development Minister must not be made on party political considerations.