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If you’re a wannabe space cadet, there’s good news. The International Space Station now has a 24-hour live high-definition video feed, and you can watch it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. There’s even an ISS Live app for your iOS device.
Space is the final frontier. Some would even say space is the place. While it will soon be possible to visit space as a tourist, this will be beyond the means of most people. Even if you’re not a millionaire, you can still enjoy a spectacular view from space with the high-definition live feed from the International Space Station.
What is the ISS?
Completed in 1998, the International Space Station is a joint effort between NASA, Roskosmos, JAXA, ESA and CSA. The ISS is the largest artificial satellite in orbit. It is so large, it’s possible to see with the naked eye. The ISS is managed by international treaties and agreements, but is also divided into a Russian Orbital Segment and a United States Orbital Segment. This doesn’t mean there isn’t cooperation between the two nations. The U.S. relies on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in order to shuttle astronauts between the ISS and Earth. Unfortunately, current tensions between the two nations may impact cooperation on the International Space Station.
What Do They Do on the ISS?
Space is an excellent environment to conduct scientific experiments. For one, there is no gravity in space. The ISS also offers an excellent view of the Earth and the cosmos. This allows scientists to conduct experiments in physics, astronomy, biology, meteorology and more.
Plans for space exploration are ambitious. At some point, mankind will attempt a manned mission to Mars. The systems and technology needed for this mission are being developed and tested on the ISS. For example, one needs to produce food, oxygen and eliminate waste, as it takes a long time to travel to Mars. There’s no better place to test these technologies than in space itself.
Scientists from many disciplines are stationed at the ISS. Since 2000, the International Space Station has had people aboard, continuously, for almost 14 years. Of course, no single person has been on board for more than 214 days. There’s only so long that a human can stay in space. The lack of gravity causes weak bones and muscles. People are also exposed to higher levels of radiation. These are the type of problems that scientists must solve for a viable Mars mission.
International Space Station Live Feed
Just a few weeks ago, the ISS started broadcasting a live HD video stream on Ustream. The stream is produced by several HD cameras enclosed in temperature controlled and pressurized compartments. While the stream is available 24 hours a day, you might not see much when you tune in. Occasionally, the space station loses the ability to transmit data. There are also gaps when the live feed switches cameras. You may see a gray screen or pre-recorded video at these times. The ISS is also enshrouded in darkness at times. This will result in dark video.
ISS Live Feed Tips
You can add the live stream to your home screen by tapping the share button, then tap Add to Home Screen. Make sure to rename the icon, as the default title will be truncated, which may cause confusion. (continue…)