ISS-Above glows when the space station orbits near you

Get alerts anytime the International Space Station flies over your location, so you can wave, send a tweet, or run outside to see it at night.

ISS-Above models
Quick, run outside, there's a space station above. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

It's easy to forget that there's a big floating box full of people orbiting about 200 miles above us. The ISS-Above project on Kickstarter wants to be your reminder. It gives out alerts anytime the space station flies above your location, so you can wave, send a tweet to the station, or run outside to see it at night.

The brains behind ISS-Above is a Raspberry Pi system with a memory card loaded with your location information. LEDs light up to alert you to the space station's presence. There are different case options depending on the look you want your gadget to have, including some colorful 3D-printed options.

A complete ISS-Above device preloaded with your location goes for a pledge price of $115. If you just want the memory card with your location and custom Twitter login for sending a quick "hello" to the ISS, then it's just $42. This is a good option if you want to make your own custom alert device. The project has until February 27 to meet its $5,000 funding goal.

Back when the space shuttle was still in operation, I met my mother to see both the shuttle and ISS together in the night sky, two little pinpoints of light moving rapidly out of view. "There are people up there," was all I could say to her, all my years of "Star Trek" fandom and childhood astronaut dreams running through my head.

I see ISS-Above as a mini-celebration of humans in space, a reminder that we really did manage to get people off the planet, and they're still up there, living and working above.

 

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