Orbiting approximately 220 miles (354 km) above the Earth, the International Space Station (ISS) is traveling at about 17,100 miles per hour (27,700 km/hr). Each trip around the planet takes about 92 minutes, so the six astronauts and cosmonauts onboard the spacecraft get to see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every 24-hour period. The sunsets are said to be the most spectacular, as colorful layers of the Earth’s atmosphere can be seen, one after another.
Spectacular sunsets, smelly surroundings:
- The International Space Station can be seen from Earth without a telescope. At its most northerly path, its latitude is above London, England, and at its most southerly position, it’s cruising above the Falkland Islands.
- Because of the weightless conditions in space, dust does not settle on surfaces. It continues to float around. Residents of the ISS reportedly sneeze about 100 times a day.
- There are 14 pressurized modules or components on the space station, but bathing facilities are limited. Air filters do little to get rid of the presence of body odor.