Coinciding with the 25th Anniversary of the start of operations of the International Space Station, NASA has launched a new mobile application called ‘Spot the Station’ based on the website of the same name.
This app tells you when the station is flying over your area and helps you locate it using augmented reality. ‘Spot the Station’ adds to the tools already offered by NASA to, for example, see active fires , take selfies in space or access its audiovisual content.
Free and open-source
Almost 25 years ago, on December 6, 1998, the union of the Zarya and Unity modules marked the beginning of operations of the International Space Station. Today, it is a huge orbital complex that serves as a global laboratory for exploration beyond low Earth orbit, including the Moon and Mars.
The space station is visible from our planet because it reflects light from the Sun, but unlike the Moon, it is not bright enough to be observed during the day. It is only possible to see it at dawn, dusk, or in the dark, so sighting opportunities vary greatly, ranging from once a month to several times a week.
To make it easier for citizens around the world to spot the International Space Station, NASA has launched the free ‘Spot the Station’ application for mobile phones. With it, users can know when the station is flying over their area and how they can locate it.
This app is based on NASA’s Spot the Station website and has an augmented reality interface with a built-in compass to easily locate the station. It also offers the ability to capture and share images and videos of sightings in real time.
Additionally, you can set alerts to receive notifications of upcoming sighting opportunities on your phone when the space station passes your exact location. And it includes extensive access to news and resources about it.
Another advantage of this app is that it is open source so anyone can access it, modify it, and use it in their own projects, as well as add comments so that NASA can continue updating and improving the application. ‘Spot the Station’ can be downloaded for free on iOS (13 or higher) and Android (7 or higher).