Where (Above) Earth Are We?

By Keith Cowing
January 17, 2006
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Where (Above) Earth Are We?

Have you ever wondered how the crew aboard the ISS picks out landmarks on Earth as they zoom overhead at 17,500 MPH (25,000 KPH)? In addition to software that shows their precise position above Earth, they also use less high tech, more traditional means as well.

If you look at this image – on the ‘ceiling’ of the U.S. Lab module you will see a copy of “The New International Atlas” published by Rand McNally. In this image you can see it on the Lab module’s deck.

You can also see a ring-bound collection of maps velcroed to the ceiling of the Lab module during STS-114’s visit to the ISS.

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