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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019
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Look up - a bunch of astronauts are about to float over Ireland

The International Space Station will be visable in our skies for the next five nights.

STARTING FROM JUST before ten this evening the International Space Station will be visible in the sky above Ireland.

The craft – manned by a crew of six astronauts – will come into view at 9.47pm and will be viewable for the next five nights.

The space station is operated by NASA and currently is manned by a crew from Russia, the United States and Italy.

The current commander of the ship is Terry Virts, who has been working with NASA since 2000 and formerly served in the United States Air Force.

Astronauts on board the space station have been known to post pictures from space on social media.

International Space Station 

The ISS travels through the sky at 28,000 km per hour and is 415 km above the ground. It orbits the Earth every 90 minutes meaning that it makes 16 orbits a day.

Its main function is as a research facility, carrying out experiments that involve weightlessness.

On NASA’s website, a number of benefits to life on Earth offered by the spacecraft are outlined.

According to the space agency, scientific breakthroughs have happened in areas including “human health, telemedicine, education and observations of Earth from space”.

The long-term effects of weightlessness on the astronauts are also measured with a view to upcoming manned missions to Mars.

Viewing the ISS

Viewing the ISS should be relatively easy as it has giant solar panels attached to it that give it a  ”spectacular brightness”, according to Astronomy Ireland.

The station is expected to viewable every evening at sunset. The times to view the craft are posted on Astronomy Ireland’s website here. 

Read: Can you guess which of these twins is heading into space this morning?   

Also: Thank you, ISS astronaut, for the greenest pic of Ireland today

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