New: A weekly newsletter about the trends shaping cities

Stories

Where the International Space Station is right now

Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
A Russian astronaut, a member of the International Space Station expedition 59/60, attends his final exam at a training center in Moscow. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits Earth about every 90 minutes. This tracker, maintained by NASA, can tell you exactly when and where to look up if you want to see it streak by.

What to watch: The Spot the Station tool lets you put in your city or address to find out when you need to head outside to see the ISS fly past. The orbiting laboratory looks like a bright, unblinking plane when passing overhead.

Driving the news: Two Russian cosmonauts are headed outside of the ISS for a spacewalk on Wednesday to "retrieve science experiments and conduct maintenance," per NASA. The spacewalk began at 11:44 a.m. ET and is expected to last 6.5 hours. You can watch it here.

Details: Spot the Station consists of a map filled with pins in different cities around the world where possible sightings are scheduled. By either panning around the map or inputting a zip code, the tracker will show you when the space station will be visible, for how long and where it'll appear and disappear.

  • The station is also visible for long distances around the listed locations, according to NASA — so if a specific city or town isn't listed, it's likely there's a nearby one that is.

Catch up quick: The $100 billion ISS has been continuously occupied by rotating crews of astronauts since November 2000, according to NASA.

  • The space station was built through an international cooperative program between NASA, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos.
  • The working and living space of the station is larger than a 6-bedroom house.
  • End-to-end, the space station is just one yard shy of the full length of a football field, including end zones.
  • 6 spaceships can be connected to the station at once and they can get from Earth to the station as soon as 6 hours after launch.

By the numbers: The space station completes 16 orbits around our planet each day. Over the past 20 years, it's been visited by 236 total individuals from 18 different countries across the world.

Go deeper: