Thiruvananthapuram: International Space Station (ISS) is the largest man-made object in low Earth orbit at an average distance of 400 kms from Earth and orbiting the planet 15.5 times a day.
Tonight, Keralites can get a glimpse of this wonder of science with the naked eyes, provided the sky is clear of monsoon clouds. ISS is the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon. At 7.38 pm ISS will be visible to the people living in Kerala as it passes over the state at a whopping speed of 7.66 km/sec.
The ISS will be visible today from all the southern states and also from Sri Lanka. The spectacle will be over within minutes and by 7.43 pm the ISS will be out of sight as it continues along its journey around the Earth.
ISS is a joint project among five participating space agencies which are NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAZA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). The Space Station has been continuously inhabited for 18 years and 221 days since 2 November, 2000.
The purpose of the International Space Station is to function as a laboratory to conduct experiments, work as an observatory and factory in low Earth orbit. It is also designed to become a staging base for possible future missions to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids.