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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Here's why you really should be following the International Space Station online

One small click of a mouse. One giant leap…

IT’S BEEN FLOATING about (sorry) for roughly the last 20 years, but never before have we earthbound mortals been able to access such a constant stream of unique and amazing images and videos of life from the International Space Station.

Here’s a quick guide on how to see sights like this on a regular basis…

Source: NASA

Some of the agencies and astronauts involved in the ISS have a presence elsewhere, but Twitter is definitely where you’ll find the most interesting and gasp-worthy images and videos.

Up there right now is one half of the six-member Expedition 41: Commander Maxim Suraev, and flight engineers Alexander Gerst and Reid Wiseman.

German flight engineer Gerst (@Astro_Alex), who also regularly uploads material to Facebook, is a fountain of useless space trivia…

But he’s also the source of moments like this…

And this…

There is a proper bromance blossoming before our eyes, between Gerst and his American crewmate Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid)…

Wiseman is a fan of Vine. Which gives us fantastic little moments like this, when ISS sent the cargo craft Cygnus back where it came from…

And this head-scratching experiment to see how fuel burns in space. Apparently the answer is “very, very beautifully”…

Wiseman’s dispatches range from the awe-inspiring…

to the curious…

and the personal…

Russian Maxim Suraev (@msuraev) isn’t as prolific as the two lads under his command, but from time to time he will throw out mind-bending stuff like this.

Do you have any idea what it is?

As well as giving us astonishing images like, this…

iss041e009477 Source: NASA

…the astronauts are making dreams come true for children back on earth:

If you’re hardcore (and have a lot of time on your hands), you can actually watch this constant livestream of earth, provided by four high-definition cameras on the exterior of the space station.

And you can follow its exact location in real time using the spectacular, interactive Live from Space satellite map, courtesy of National Geographic.

livefromspace Source: Live From Space

There is another way to see the ISS, though, and it requires no technology whatsoever.

Plug your location into this form on the NASA website, and you’ll find out the next time you can see the space station with the naked eye, as it hurtles along at 17,000 mph.

If you’re still unsure about keeping tabs on the ISS, this phenomenal, 4K definition video by the European Space Agency speaks for itself.

Source: European Space Agency, ESA/YouTube

Follow the astronauts and agencies involved in the ISS by subscribing to this Twitter feed.

Read: Hey, that’s us! Astronaut tweets shot of a (mostly) cloudless Ireland>

Boeing and SpaceX to build new spacecraft for ISS astronauts>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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