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Fraser
2006-Sep-14, 10:36 PM
The International Space Station got a lot bigger today when it spread out its newly installed solar panel arrays. NASA mission controllers sent commands up instructing the station to open the first panel, and then the second, spanning a total of 73 metres (240 feet). The STS-115 astronauts will have one final spacewalk on Friday; Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper will spend 6.5 hours outside the station working on a variety of tasks. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to depart from the station on Sunday, and land on Wednesday.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/09/14/international-space-station-spreads-its-wings/)

Cassiopeia
2006-Sep-15, 12:16 PM
Does anybody know the increase in ISS-brightness now for the best viewing situation here on earth?

Spacemad
2006-Sep-15, 09:21 PM
The deployment of the new solar panels is real good news! Their function of providing electrical power to the station will have to wait till the arrival of Discovery in December when they will be activated.

Two new international laboratories are scheduled to be deployed during that mission.

TuTone
2006-Sep-15, 09:38 PM
The article stated that the space shuttle will depart from the station on Sunday & will land on Earth on Wednesday - How long does it take to land the shuttle from the station to Earth? I thought it took less than a day?

trinitree88
2006-Sep-16, 12:10 AM
The article stated that the space shuttle will depart from the station on Sunday & will land on Earth on Wednesday - How long does it take to land the shuttle from the station to Earth? I thought it took less than a day?

TuTone. That's true. They don't always clarify landing schedules in short news briefs...there's probably a few science missions they'll do en route...causing the protracted schedule. Pete.

Blob
2006-Sep-16, 02:05 AM
Does anybody know the increase in ISS-brightness now for the best viewing situation here on earth?

Hum,
the word on the street says that it may reach magnatude -3.

Cassiopeia
2006-Sep-28, 12:20 PM
Hi Blob,


thanks for your info. Heavens-above.com says that the ISS reaches:


Intrinsic brightness (Mag (http://www.heavens-above.com/gloss.asp?Session=kebgccdlcmlppccnfhiocbkk&term=magnitude)): 1.5(at 1000km distance, 50% illuminated)
Maximum brightness (Mag): -3.3 (at perigee, 100% illuminated)


But now, with the added solarpanels, it should be brighter, should't it?