New Space and Tech

Partnership Opportunity for Notification Tool for International Space Station Sightings

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
Filed under , , , ,

Currently, NASA has several ways the public can learn about ISS sighting opportunities, including NASA Sky Watch. However, NASA’s websites do not disseminate this information to the public- the public must seek it out proactively instead.

NASA seeks to increase public awareness of the ISS, its visibility, and mission by making ISS sighting information, including personalized notifications, readily available to the general public in an easily accessible and understandable way. To that end, NASA seeks to collaborate with a domestic entity, on an unfunded basis, to support an ISS sighting notification tool.

Specifically, NASA seeks submissions for developing and releasing a tool to notify users from the general public, via email or Short Messenger Service (SMS) texts, when the ISS will pass overhead (i.e., when an ISS “sighting” will occur in the user’s vicinity). Possible features include options (configured via a website) to: obtain location from IP geolocation, smartphone device geolocation, or user-entered location; specify time periods for notification (i.e., evening or morning passes only); specify minimum elevation (higher elevations are necessary to be seen by city dwellers); and specify minimum pass duration. Other features may involve depiction of ISS data integrated into existing presentation frameworks (e.g., attitude dependent skymaps on smartphones).


SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.