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Thornton gets last chance to see the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Atlantis

Saturday, May 15th, 2010 6:26am MDT
The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched yesterday bound for the International Space Station.  This weekend affords a chance to see the pair above for the last time. (NASA)

The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched yesterday bound for the International Space Station. This weekend affords a chance to see the pair above for the last time. (NASA)

The Space Shuttle Atlantis rocketed from Kennedy Space Center yesterday on its way to its final rendezvous with the International Space Station. This will be Atlantis’ final flight as NASA prepares to retire the Space Shuttle fleet and it affords Earth-bound viewers their final chances to see the pair from the ground.

Good sighting opportunities to view the ISS and Atlantis will be available across much of the continental United States this weekend and they will occur at times in the late evening that will make it easy for everyone. The weekend and the first part of next week all hold chances for many areas if the skies are clear.

Here in Thornton, on Saturday night the two spacecraft will be at their highest elevation. However, we will unfortunately have a good deal of cloud cover at the appointed time making it difficult. If you can catch a glimpse tonight though, it will be interesting because the pair will not have docked yet and you will be able to see both flying separately overhead.

We have a better chance to see the ISS and Atlantis on Sunday. While they won’t be as high above the horizon, the skies should be a clearer. By then they will have docked and so you will see one bright unit as it moves across the nighttime sky.

To find out when to turn your gaze skyward and where to look, check out our ISS / Space Station viewing page.  For viewing opportunities in other places in the nation, visit this page on NASA’s website.

To see what the cloud cover will be at the viewing times, check out our Thornton point forecast graphics.

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