June 2 Space StationTuesday June 2 2020

Are you ready to go again, for a third n night in a row. We got lucky with the alignment of the International Space Station (ISS) orbit to give us a few good shows right after the SpaceX Dragon docking. Now we just need the weather to cooperate.

This flyover will be earlier and farther north. So kids that went to bed and missed the last two may see this. The track will being near where the last two were (location of sunset). But you will remain facing north to track it across the sky.

After a day with clouds and cool temps, the clouds broke late.  If we can keep that trend this evening, we will have a good chance to spot ISS with the space station flyover. For what it’s worth, we have a minor viewing chance on Wednesday, but storms are likely to be a factor. There will be another good viewing angle on Thursday. But weather will be marginal.


Weather: Satellite Loop

Visible (3 Hours ending at 8 PM)

This is the best perspective of the clouds breaking up. However, we lose the images as it got dark. It did show the clouds breaking up just prior to sunset. This should allow the opportunity to view the flyover.


Viewing Tips Tuesday Night June 2

This will be the longest flyover of the group!

Our view of the ISS flyover this will last 7 1/2 minutes and peak at 9:06 PM.

The track will start from the northwest sky. Find where the sun set and look just a little to the right (north).

  • 9:03:09 PM = First View
  • Look in the region where the sun sets.
  • 9:06 PM = Peak 
  • 9:10:32 PM = Last View
  • ISS will pass about 1/2 way up the sky from the horizon.  Given the long path, you will need to be able to swivel or pivot so you can catch the whole show.

The International Space Station will appear like a fast moving plane with a very bright steady light, but no blinking lights.

Weather: Partly cloudy but clearing over some areas.

Space Station Flyover Viewing June 2

Space Station Flyover Map

I’ve plotted this with the Maryland and Pennsylvania line centered between Baltimore and York.

June 2 Space Station flyover map



ISS Trivia

You will be able to see it with your own eyes, but binoculars may help you identify some of the solar panels and central structure. I don’t recommend a telescope since it will be moving pretty fast. Check out these stats:

  • Orbital speed: 17,000 mph
  • Complete Orbit = 92.65 minutes
  • Orbits per day: 15.54
  • Days in orbit: 17 years, 26 days
  • Altitude:  Ranges between 249 and 256 miles above the ground
  • Origin: The first component was launched in 1998
  • Occupied since November 2, 2000. This year will be the 20th anniversary!


LIVE NASA Video Stream


Docking Simulation from SpaceX

I don’t know where to begin telling you about how much fun this is, and NOT EASY.  The simulation let’s you control the Dragon on approach with ISS. There are instructions. It will help kids, and adult drivers realize there is no friction in space. So each movement needs to be small and steady.

Check it out and let me know what you think:

Docking Simulator
SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator


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