NASA astronauts will pass over Armidale on the International Space Station

ASTRONAUTS will pass directly over Armidale on the International Space Station at exactly 5:48pm tonight.

A NASA spokeswoman said the station will be very easy for stargazers to spot.

“It’s quite a good pass, long and almost directly overhead,” she said.

On board are three Americans, one Japanese and two Russians.

“They just completed a spacewalk today, so they’ll be doing some follow up from that, we have a cargo launch headed their way Sunday – so they may be preparing for that as well,” the spokeswoman said.

Expedition 55 engineers Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold completed the fifth spacewalk this year, lasting six hours and 31 minutes.

Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 54 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes working outside the station in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

The space station is visible for 80 kilometres around Armidale, and will be visible for six minutes before it ducks back under the horizon.

Those wanting to catch a glimpse should steer their eyes south, south-west as the station travels east across the sky.

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction.

It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane, which generally fly at 960 kilometres per hour, while the space station flies at 28163 kilometres per hour.

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