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Listen and Track Space Station Space Shuttle and Satellites

Author: Disabled World : Contact: www.disabled-world.com

Published: 2009-01-21 : (Rev. 2020-04-03)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Real time tracking to watch where the space station and space shuttle are plus live satellite tracking maps from NASA.

Anyone with HF receiving equipment can receive shuttle radio communications by tuning into WA3NAN at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD USA.

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.

Main Digest

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 this 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)

Google Earth

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:

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.

WA3NAN Shuttle Retransmission Frequencies

Frequency MHz Modulation Antenna Type
3.860 LSB N-S & E-W Dipoles
7.185 LSB N-S & E-W Dipoles
14.295 USB 3-Element Yagi
21.395 USB 5-Element Yagi
28.650 USB 4-Element Yagi
147.450 FM

Space Shuttle Frequencies used During Missions

Frequency MHz Modulation Remarks
121.750 FM Shuttle-Mir during rendezvous/docking/undocking
139.300 FM Shuttle-Mir
143.600 FM Shuttle-Mir
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

Frequency Modulation Notes
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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