It’s not often you get news of global interest from a small blogger in north Texas, so hold on to your spaceknickers.
I’ve been watching the manned International Space Station (ISS) fly overhead almost every night since Saturday, and you can, too.
In fact, I encourage it and will tell you how.
I’ve been looking up more than usual lately, by design.
By looking up, I mean less social media and more engagement with what is going on around me in real time.
My sister, Kay, called me Saturday night to let me know the ISS would be visible overhead in north Texas in just a few short minutes.
I watched for it, not really knowing what I was looking for since this was my first (but not last) time searching for this thing.
What I found was a beautiful light, steadily moving across the sky. Only this light was travelling 17,200 miles an hours had been in orbit 20 years, and was currently occupied by three American astronauts, one of whom is a woman.
In fact this woman, Peggy Whitson, is not only the commander on this mission, she is the first woman to command two expeditions on the ISS.
It took seven minutes from when I first saw the space station until it disappeared from sight, and according to an app on my phone, it travelled from Mexico to Michigan in that time. It took a while for that to soak in.
Monday night, Kay alerted me again, causing me to pause my Shark Week alien shark episode to see it the space station yet again. The flyover would be at 9:33 p.m.
I was already dressed for bed, which in laymen’s terms means I looked homeless.
Since this time the ISS would be flying southwest to northeast, I decided to watch it from my front yard which gave me a better vista. I don’t go out front much, and I’m not sure the neighbors would recognize me on a bet.
So, I sat on the curb in the dark wearing leggings and old t-shirt with no shoes and no makeup, just looking up at the stars.
I noticed a woman a half block away walking her dogs toward me. As she passed, she looked at me funny and said “Hi,” in that tentative way that says, “have you been approved by the home owners association?”
So, in my quick thinking I said, “Hi! I’m not weird. I’m waiting on the space station.”
For some reason, I opted not to expound, which has probably made me public enemy number one in the home owner’s association. As if on cue, the lady hurried away and probably alerted the neighborhood watch on Facebook.
Since it makes 15.54 orbits around the earth each day, there are several opportunities for everyone to catch it. In fact, according to my research, the next time to catch a good visual will be at 9:22 Friday night, when it will be travelling from the northwest to the northeast.
Look up, y’all. I didn’t watchthis on Facebook, or even learn about it there.
Also, wave at ‘em. Even if you look homeless.