Want to know what science experiments the astronauts are working on in the International Space Station today? Interested in looking over the shoulder of the flight controllers in Houston? There’s a new website that allows you to follow all the activities on the space station in real time, from seeing exactly what each crew member is doing, to watching live video from space, to seeing the displays on consoles in the ISS Mission Control at Johnson Space Center. Called Space Station Live!, the new interactive website is part of NASA’s Open Government Initiative, an “effort to increase public access to government information and services through live data feeds and data sets.”
The website is still in beta, so there are a few bugs (the video feed is sometimes blank and not all the links work all the time) but the data available and interactive features are enough to make a space nerd swoon. And soon, there will be apps available so all the data will be accessible with mobile devices, according to NASA Spaceflight.com. There is historical information on the assembly of the International Space Station, a large diagram showing the current configuration ISS, access to operational handbooks, an audio feed of the communications between the station and mission control, and much more. Of course, all the sensitive and classified information and materials are not available, but this is a brand new and unprecedented way for NASA to share real-time data with the public. There are also educator resources and soon there will be a programming interface to allow teachers to integrate live data and science from the ISS in their classroom projects.
A good place to start is in the crew timeline area, which provides information for each crew member, what time it is on the ISS, a video feed, and information on the ISS orbital status (is the ISS in orbital daylight or darkness?)