My wife, Amy, has been following the year-long saga of astronaut Scott Kelly, who will be coming home to Earth tomorrow after nearly a year (340 days) in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

From Space.com:

When Scott Kelly lifted off aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule on March 27, 2015, bound for the International Space Station, he began a journey to do something that no American had done before: spend nearly a year in orbit.

Along with Russian crewmate Mikhail "Misha" Kornienko, who also stayed on board for just shy of a year, Kelly's role is to teach doctors back on Earth how the human body changes over long periods spent in weightlessness. Most data on the effects of spaceflight on humans come from six-month missions; one-year missions have not taken place in space since cosmonauts lived on the Mir space station in the 1990s.

As I mentioned, Amy has been fascinated by every aspect of Kelly's mission. So much so, that really all I have to do is ask "What's going on with the ISS today?" and I get the full briefing.

The part of her briefing that got my attention was when she mentioned that we here in Rockford (and surrounding areas) can actually catch a glimpse of the ISS as it makes its way around our planet.

From NASA's "Spot the Station" website, here are the details on when to look for the ISS:

  • Friday, March 4th, visible at 5:34am for 2 minutes
  • Sunday, March 6th, visible at 5:25am for 4 minutes
  • Monday, March 7th, visible at 4:35am for 2 minutes
  • Tuesday, March 8th, visible at 3:46am for 1 minute
  • Tuesday, March 8th, visible at 5:18am for 4 minutes
  • Wednesday, March 9th, visible at 4:29am for 1 minute
  • Thursday, March 10th, visible at 3:39am for 1 minute
  • Thursday, March 10th, visible at 5:12am for 4 minutes
  • Friday, March 11th, visible at 4:22am for 2 minutes
  • Saturday, March 12th, visible at 5:04am for 4 minutes

Hopefully, we'll have some clear and unobstructed skies on those dates for optimum viewing. For the full list, and details on where to look in the sky for the ISS, click here.

Also, for live video streaming from the ISS: