ISS News: Skywatcher Captures Space Lab Over Vienna; NASA Astronauts Embark Spacewalk
The International Space Station (ISS) was captured flying across the Vienna skies.
Space.com reported that German skywatcher Matthias Raudonis submitted an incredible photo of the ISS passing over Vienna, Austria. The exchange student had been waiting to take a photo of the space station so he looked up for the exact time and date when the trajectory and magnitude would be perfect.
Raudonis took the photo on the night of June 10, 2016 when the weather was just right for him to get a clear view of the ISS.
"I went up to the rooftop of my apartment tower. I was lucky because the sky was almost clear and I waited eagerly for the ISS to show up," Raudonis told Space.com in an e-mail. "I really like this picture because the ISS is clearly visible, despite the light pollution of this big city."
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) January 9, 2017
Meanwhile, the ISS -- the habitable artificial satellite in low-Earth orbit -- is a launching pad for deeper space exploration missions. Home to an international crew of six: Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko, Oleg Novitskiy and Sergey Ryzhikov (Roscosmos), American astronauts Commander Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson (NASA) and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet (European Space Agency), the space station orbits the Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers (248 miles).
ABC News reported that NASA astronauts Kimbrough and Whitson performed the spacewalk with the help of a robot named Dextre to upgrade three ISS lithium-ion batteries just last weekend.
"We're excited to do our first #spacewalk of 2017! The #NASAvillage prepared us for this moment," Whitson posted on Twitter on Friday.
"We went outside for a walk today! So honored to be part of the @NASA @Space_Station #spacewalk team," Kimbrough tweeted on Saturday.
The nickel-hydrogen batteries, which weighs around 250 pounds, are already about a decade-old; thus, there is a need for them to be replaced. The ISS needs a total of 48 batteries to keep its solar power system going.