The International Space Station has been a constant presence in the skies since its launch in 1998. In fact, the ISS orbits our planet every 90 minutes at an approximate altitude of 250 miles (400km). Although impossible to see during the day, the space station transforms into the third brightest object in the night sky.
The ISS goes through periods it cannot be seen from the UK for months.
This is because the space station’s diagonal orbit can criss-cross other parts of the planet.
However, every now and then, a window of a few weeks arrives when the ISS flies over the UK at night.
Exact times understandably vary slightly depending on your location in the UK, but Express.co.uk has used Lancaster – the closest point to the geographical centre of the country in attempt to provide a fair average estimation.
Spotting the ISS for the first can be a profound experience, when you appreciate the glowing speck drifting silently overhead is actually home to human beings conducting scientific research benefiting the world.
NASA International Space Station facts
240 individuals from 19 countries have visited the International Space Station.
The space station has been continuously occupied since November 2000.
An international crew of six people live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting Earth about every 90 minutes.
In 24 hours, the space station makes 16 orbits of Earth, traveling through 16 sunrises and sunsets.
Peggy Whitson set the record for spending the most total time living and working in space at 665 days on Sept. 2, 2017.
The acre of solar panels that power the station means sometimes you can look up in the sky at dawn or dusk and see the spaceship flying over your home, even if you live in a big city.
The living and working space in the station is larger than a six-bedroom house (and has six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym, and a 360-degree view bay window).
To mitigate the loss of muscle and bone mass in the human body in microgravity, the astronauts work out at least two hours a day.
This Article firstly Publish on www.express.co.uk