Below is a live view of Earth taken by a camera on the International Space Station, a view similar to that astronauts get from above. Without Earth's atmosphere to protect us, people and equipment endure the full barrage of cosmic rays and solar radiation. The images are part of the NASA HDEV experiment that is looking at how fast these harmful rays degrade the image through camera and equipment damage. Sometimes the image is black because the Space Station does not have continuous radio contact with ground control. In that case, check back later.
Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During "loss of signal" periods, viewers will see a blue screen. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.
The International Space Station with ESA's Columbus laboratory flies 400 km high at speeds that defy gravity - literally. At 28 800 km/h it only takes 90 minutes for the weightless laboratory to make a complete circuit of Earth. Astronauts working and living on the Station experience 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.
The tracker above, developed by ESA, shows where the Space Station is right now and its path 90 minutes ago and 90 minutes ahead. Due to Earth's rotation the Station moves to the west as it travels over our planet. Below the map of Earth you can see where the Station is flying directly above. You can see the International Space Station with your own eyes from here by looking up at the right time.