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How to Steer the Space Station: Chris Hadfield Explains

Attitude and altitude are important factors for flying a spaceship. But How do you control the International Space Station, a ship the size of a US football field (or five hockey rinks — a better reference for Canadians!)? And where does this happen? Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield answers these questions from inside the ISS.

And below is a beautiful image Hadfield just shared via social media today, showing shadows and clouds over a mountain:

Shadow play of cloud and mountain at sunset, as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/CSA via Chris Hadfield.

Shadow play of cloud and mountain at sunset, as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/CSA via Chris Hadfield.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aqua4U May 3, 2013, 4:46 PM

    Chris Hadfield is a really cool guy! I like all the effort he’s put into his public outreach videos. I hope you get a chance to interview him sometime soon? Be way cool to ‘get the grits’ from his perspective… He does Canada proud!

  • zetetic elench May 3, 2013, 5:08 PM

    is there any reason those panels, or additional supplement panels, couldn’t be tethered a few thousand meters away so they could keep solar alignment separately?
    Does one set of reaction wheels turn the entire thing?

  • Kevin Frushour May 3, 2013, 5:37 PM

    But…. isn’t he talking about orientation rather than actual steering?

  • m crow May 3, 2013, 5:47 PM

    What about when you want to use rest room because everything seems to to rise up instead of falling.

  • Mabel May 4, 2013, 2:05 AM

    I would go up there if the spaceship was like the TNG Enterprise. I’d like to have the view; just from a nice cushy suite with sparkly blankets and a replicator. :)

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