International Space Station - It Moves Fast!!

International Space Station - It Moves Fast!!

Space isn't very far away.

At Tugby we are closer to space than we are to the sea!

The International Space Station is in a low orbit - it's only about 340km above us. This is as far away from Tugby as Polruan in Cornwall.

The gravity at 100km is almost as strong as at the Earth's surface - about 90% of what we feel in Tugby (or Polruam).

To overcome the gravity at low orbits the International Space Station has to travel at blistering speed - as shown in my picture above. 

The ISS actually moves at 8 kilometres per second. This means that it travels the distance from Tilton to Tugby via Billesdon in a second - quicker than you can say "Tilton to Tugby"

This is faster than a bullet. In fact if you stood at the edge of a football pitch and fired a bullet towards the other end of it as the ISS came past, by the time the ISS reached the other side of the pitch the bullet would have gone just 10 yards!   

This speed is achieved through massive amounts of fuel and achievable because there is little atmosphere or air resistance. 

If I was to walk at this speed I could walk to Antarctica in half an hour ... which is longer than it takes the School bus to get from Tilton to Tugby. The school bus is highly unlikely to escape the Earth's gravity - unless it gets a move on.