Amateur astronomers and those interested in tracking satellites, the international space station (ISS), and orbiting space shuttles on your home computer may be interested in these live spacecraft tracking maps.
There are literally hundreds of satellites you can choose to track. See when they are overhead, then go outside and identify which satellite is above you. Great for educating and entertaining both children and adults, and a good pastime or hobby for people with disabilities, or anyone who enjoys night sky watching.
These satellites and spacecraft can be seen with the naked eye in the night sky, but a telescope or even a cheap pair of binoculars will show more detail and also allow you to study the moon, galaxies, and stars while waiting for the next satellite to pass overhead, maybe you'll even spot a UFO in the night sky.
Space Shuttle and Space Station sighting from Home:
Information regarding the orbit trajectories of the International Space Station and the space shuttle.
This is the official NASA tool for orbital tracking of the International Space Station, Hubble telescope, and the Space Shuttle.
Find out when the space station and/or space shuttle will be overhead in your area and which direction to watch from to see it with the naked eye, binoculars, or telescope to Track the Space Station (spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/tracking/) and you can also try tool from NASA which allows you to select your location and gives you the time the shuttle or space station will be overhead. Requires JAVA to be enabled in your browser. Note that the tracker may be unavailable at times due to heavy traffic on the NASA website.
A nice 3D display of the location of the International Space Station in orbit combined with Google Maps can be found at www.lizard-tail.com/isana/tracking/. Also shows the stations orbit path plus future orbit paths, current speed, altitude, and position by longitude and latitude.
See below for information on how you can listen online to space shuttle radio transmissions and the astronauts talking aboard the Space Station.
Satellite Tracking on Computer:
Choose from hundreds of NASA, military, and weather you wish to view and track with this real time satellite tracking map. You can also track the international space station and space shuttles currently in orbit. Just some of the satellites you can track include: ISS, Shuttle, Mir, Hubble, Space shuttle, suitsat, geostationary, GOES, NOAA, weather, Iridium, Intelsat, Globalstar, amateur radio, GPS, Military satellites, cubesat, XM, Sirius Track Satellites (science.nasa.gov/realtime/jtrack/Spacecraft.html)
Download Google Earth for free (earth.google.com) and view many interesting places on Earth. Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in space. See the great pyramids of Egypt, fly over the Grand Canyon, or spy on the most secretive places in the world at Area 51, a military base located in Nevada, United States. Street View is now available in Google Earth. Fly into panoramic images of cities and take a 360 degree tour.
Google Earth maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. It also uses digital elevation model (DEM) data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. This means you can see the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest in three dimensions 3D.
Switch to Sky in Google Earth and you can see the planets, dwarf planets, and major planet moons and asteroids, including Hubble Space Telescope images of deep space. Google Sky is produced by Google through partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institutes operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope. Also visible in Google Sky mode are the constellations, stars, galaxies and animations depicting the planets in their orbits.
INSPIRE VLF radio
Listen to the INSPIRE VLF radio receiver (science.nasa.gov/audio/inspire/inspire.m3u) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.
You can hear:
Sferics: Sferics, short for "atmospherics", are impulsive signals emitted by lightning. They sound like twigs snapping or bacon frying.
Tweeks: Tweeks are sferics that travel considerable distances through the ionosphere.
Whistlers: Whistlers are sferics that are dispersed even more than tweeks. The sound of a whistler is a musical descending tone that lasts for a second or more.
and other VLF radio sounds at any time of the day, (around dawn and dusk are generally the best listening times.)
Listen to the Space Shuttle and Kennedy Space Center by HF Amateur Radio.
Anyone with HF receiving equipment can receive shuttle radio communications by tuning into WA3NAN (garc.gsfc.nasa.gov), an Amateur Radio Club, located at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD USA. WA3NAN usually starts broadcasting about 1 hour before the shuttle mission launch time.
By monitoring the Shuttle/Kennedy transmissions via WA3NAN you don't need to worry about tracking the shuttle to receive in flight communication.
The WA3NAN Shuttle Retransmission Frequencies are:
|Frequency MHz||Modulation||Antenna Type|
|3.860||LSB||N-S & E-W Dipoles|
|7.185||LSB||N-S & E-W Dipoles|
These are the Space Shuttle Frequencies used During Missions
|121.750||FM||Shuttle-Mir during rendezvous/docking/undocking|
|145.840||FM||SAREX Amateur Downlink|
|259.700||AM||Shuttle Voice (see note 1)|
|296.800||AM||Air-to-ground & Orbiter to EVA-Suit|
|279.000||AM||EVA-Suit-to-EVA-Suit & Orbiter to EVA-Suit|
|243.000||AM||Standard UHF Mil emergency Freq.|
|2217.500||Digital||Secondary Digital Downlink|
|2250.000||WFM||TV During Orbit (voice can be heard here)|
|2287.500||Digital||Primary Digital Downlink|
Other Interesting NASA HF/VHF/UHF Frequencies.
|3089.5 KHz||USB||NASA Air-to-Ground|
|6743.5 KHz||USB||NASA Air-to-Ground|
|9003.5 KHz||USB||NASA Air-to-Ground|
|11192.5 KHz||USB||NASA Air-to-Ground|
|15062.5 KHz||USB||NASA Air-to-Ground|
|3385.0 KHz||USB||NASA Emergency Net|
|3395.0 KHz||USB||NASA Emergency Net|
|4604.5 KHz||USB||NASA Emergency Net|
|6982.5 KHz||USB||NASA Emergency Net|
|14455.0 KHz||USB||NASA Emergency Net|
|2360.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|3379.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|3388.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|5403.5 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|5821.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|5961.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|6106.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|6108.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|6809.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|9462.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|11801.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|12129.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|12219.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|13633.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|13744.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|13780.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|14836.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|14989.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|15464.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|16201.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|16430.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|18744.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|20063.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|22983.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|23390.0 KHz||USB||NASA HF Net|
|162.1125 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|162.9875 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|163.100 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|166.525 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|166.8375 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|167.0125 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|167.350 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|167.400 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|167.775 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|168.350 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|168.4125 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|169.2125 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|171.5125 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|171.6375 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|172.0375 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|172.3375 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|172.9625 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|173.425 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|173.900 MHz||FM||NASA National VHF Freq.|
|282.800 MHz||AM||NASA Search & Rescue Ops.|
|240.000 MHz||Data||NASA Solid Rocket Booster Recovery Beacons|
|242.000 MHz||Data||NASA Solid Rocket Booster Recovery Beacons|
You may also be interested in our article on Flight Tracking and Listening to Air Traffic Control Radio Listen to communications between a control tower and it's incoming airplanes. Track thousands of planes from the beginning of a flight to landing, all by live feed from a satellite showing you the planes current altitude, air speed, and where it is.
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