Space Station Appearing Nationwide Over July 4 Weekend, there will be an additional light in the sky along with the fireworks

HOUSTON -- As America celebrates its 233rd birthday this holiday weekend, there will be an additional light in the sky along with the fireworks. Across the country, Americans will be treated to spectacular views of the International Space Station since it orbits 220 miles above Earth.

Many locations will have extraordinarily long sighting opportunities of as much as five minutes, weather permitting, as the station flies almost directly overhead.

To find out when to see the station from your city, visit space flight NASA

The largest spacecraft that ever built, the station also is the most reflective. It will be brighter than most stars at dawn and dusk, appearing as a solid, glowing light, bit by bit traversing the predawn or evening sky. It is visible when lit by the sun while the ground beneath is not in full daylight. It moves across the sky very fast for conventional telescopes, but a good set of binoculars can enhance the viewing experience, even revealing some detail of the station's arrangement.

The station circles the Earth every 90 minutes which is 357 feet long, about the length of a football field including the end zones, and 45 feet tall. Its reflective solar arrays are 240 feet wide, a wingspan larger than that of a jumbo jet, and have a total surface area of more than 38,000 square feet.

An international crew of six astronauts, including American flight engineer Michael Barratt, is aboard the complex conducting research and ongoing its assembly and the other crew members are from Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan.

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