This is when the International Space Station will pass over Preston

Keep your eyes on the skies above Preston this morning (April 23) for a rare glimpse of the International Space Station (ISS).

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 8:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 9:34 am
The UK as seen from the International Space Station. Pic-NASA.
The UK as seen from the International Space Station. Pic-NASA.

The ISS will pass over Preston in low orbit at precisely 8.36am and it will be visible to the naked eye for a whole 558 seconds.

The spacecraft's altitude is currently 205 nautical miles away from Earth - about the same distance it takes to drive from central London to Manchester by car via the M40.

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NASA photo reveals UK as seen from the International Space Station

At about 356 feet by 240 feet, the International Space Station is larger than a football field.

Weighing in at 450 tons (just shy of 900,000 pounds!), the ISS remains the largest space station ever built.

Last year, the International Space Station celebrated 20 years since it was first launched, though the first batch of long-term residents did not arrive until two years later in November 2000.

In its lifetime, the station has been home to 236 astronauts, including British ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Major Tim Peake, who was an inhabitant from December 15, 2015 until June 18, 2016.