Even though other countries like China and India have also made significant progress in the field of space exploration in the recent years, NASA continues to stay the most popular space exploration agency in the world. It is responsible for many of the scientific landmarks in the history of human kind – sending man on the moon for the very first time, sending many missions to explore the surface of the Mars, establishing the first artificial satellite in the orbit of Mars and establishment of the International Space Station (ISS) among others. And now they have made an app available for the Android smartphones so that you can watch the position of the International Space Station orbiting around the Earth in real time.
When I checked the location of the ISS in this app, it was flying over Brazil and slowly progressing towards the Argentinian region. After installing this app on your Android phone, you have to agree to the terms and conditions of NASA before proceeding. Then you can see the various sections to choose, for example, “About ISS”, MCC (mission control center), crew time-line, ISS assembly and more.
From all the sections, if you select the section “Visit the MCC” then it will show you the ISS flying over the Earth. You can see the latitude, longitude, speed and the altitude. At the time I checked, it had 23.1S latitude, 49.8W longitude, 7,666 m/s speed and an altitude of 412 km. You can also see that its solar panels also change with time and open up differently to make the maximum energy from the solar radiation.
In the MCC section, you can see the mission control center that has many different control panels like Eva, Control Panel, OPS Planner, Spartan, Topo, Cronus and many more. You can actually pickup the handbooks or log books and read them. The entries in these books look very dated and are perhaps bogus, but it gives you an idea of how things happen in the MCC.
You can get the NASA ISS Live app for Android from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nasa.isslive.