Planning to be one of the millions participating in the 20th Annual National Night Out (NNO) tonight? The International Space Station and its crew will be flying 240 miles overhead at the same time. So, in hundreds of cities residents need only look up to get a glimpse of the unique orbiting laboratory.
The Space Station is visible to the unaided eye and will appear as a small, steady, fast-moving point of light (not blinking). The Space Station generally follows a west to east path. Given the speed of the Station, 17,500 miles per hour, most telescopes are not practical for tracking the orbiting lab, however, a good pair of binoculars may reveal some detail of the Station's structure.
Station commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA's Station Science Officer Ed Lu are living and working on board the orbital laboratory, maintaining systems and conducting science experiments. More than 60 experiments, spanning a range of scientific disciplines, have been conducted aboard the Station. The crew also participates in a variety of education-related activities, including more than 40 unique space-based demonstrations for students.
As a research lab, the Station lets us explore a new world of science without the masking force of gravity. It also serves as our next step in exploring the universe around us, sustains U.S. leadership in space, strengthens international cooperation, helps to inspire and educate the next generation of inventors and explorers.
NNO, a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, encourages closer cooperation between citizens, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, local officials and law enforcement agencies to make their communities safer.
Last year, 9,850 communities from all 56 states and U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases world-wide marked the 19th Annual NNO by turning on outside lights, with front porch vigils, crime prevention block parties, cookouts, ice cream socials, parades, neighborhood visits by local law enforcement agencies, flashlight walks, safety fairs, poster and essay contests, and neighborhood meetings.
For information about this year's events on the Internet, visit: www.nationaltownwatch.org
For detailed sighting information for the International Space Station, and to learn about NASA's "Skywatch" Program on the Internet, visit: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/
For a partial list of U.S. sighting opportunities tonight, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/news/docs/US_SightingsREV1.doc.
To learn more about the Station crew and their activities, visit: http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov
For information about NASA on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov
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