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Utah Skies: Dragon Crew Headed To ISS


The International Space Station is a permanently crewed Earth orbiting station. Over 230 astronauts, cosmonauts and other space visitors from 19 nations have visited the space station.

The ISS provides a space laboratory for scientific research in zero gravity. The ISS is especially useful to test spacecraft systems for future planning trips back to the Moon and to Mars. The ISS orbits the earth from between 205 miles and 225 miles altitude.

Since the space shuttle era NASA has paid the Russian space agency, Roscosmos to get our astronauts to the ISS and back home.

Since 2015 NASA has been working with private contractors Boeing and Space X to build platforms to send US astronauts to the ISS. NASA has now certified the first commercial spacecraft capable of taking humans to the International Space Station.

Space X Crew 1 with four astronauts was sent on a six month mission to the ISS on Saturday November 14. Space X Crew Dragon capsule docked with the ISS on Nov 16.

Utah observers can see the ISs with its newly arrived Dragon crew fly over Logan on the evening of November 18. If you have a clear view of the horizon the ISS will rise in the southwest near the bright planets of Jupiter and Saturn at 7:21 pm and quickly move across the evening sky setting in the northeast at 7:24 pm as it enters the earth’s shadow.

The ISS should be easy to see at magnitude -1.4.

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