Space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station are flying together 220 miles overhead until May 23. Circling the Earth every 90 minutes, the spacecraft offer unique sighting opportunities for sky gazers around the world.
With the shuttle attached, the station appears even brighter than usual in the morning and evening sky. The station may be seen every day from various locations around the world just prior to sunrise and just after sunset.
There are good sighting opportunities, weather permitting, on Wednesday for California and Texas; and on Thursday for Florida. For information about when the spacecraft will be visible over your city, visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings
Atlantis delivered the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 to the station, and the mission's three spacewalks focus on storing spare components outside the station, including a communications antenna, parts for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm, and replacing six solar array batteries.
The International Space Station, a unique partnership among the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of continuous human occupancy this year. Construction began in 1998, and 23 crews have lived aboard the orbiting complex since 2000. Station residents are conducting important science and technology experiments.
For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
For more information about the science performed aboard the station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science
For more information about the space shuttle, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle