I just watched the International Space Station go over. It’s been some years since I saw it last. I still think it’s pretty cool to watch something 250 miles up, going 17 thousand miles an hour. While looking up those statistics, I found a site that shows exactly where the ISS is at any moment. Wow – it’s already over the Indian Ocean.
Anyway, before my earlier ISS sighting, the only orbiting satellite I’d seen was ECHO II, back in 1964. Yikes! That’s over 50 years ago. It was a big balloon that they bounced radio signals off.
People got excited about satellites in those days. They even printed a postage stamp for ECHO I, in 1960.
Yeah. Postage was 4 cents then. I’m old. And I’m a geek.
When I posted on Facebook about all this excitement, my elder son out-geeked me by putting up a link to a site where you can see what satellites will be visible overhead in your area on any given night, including what time, where (in the sky) and how bright the object will be. Just input your zip code, and you’re ready to plan your sky-watching parties!
That site also gives a bit of intriguing info on each satellite. My favorite was, “NROL-65 is thought to be a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below.”