Travel to space without leaving Llananes

Llaranes School has a direct connection to the International Space Station. Furthermore, it is a part of the Asturian Space Agency. Students look up the orbit and ask to take pictures of Earth from a computer. “We take pictures from space, we’re looking for Picos de Europa, and Sally Ride put the camera there – on the International Space Station – because she was the first American woman to reach outer space,” explain Nayara Vazquez and Matias Garcia, 11 and 5, respectively.

Llaranes School students are in full search of orbits.


The International Space Station takes about 90 minutes around the world, has a speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour and is located at an altitude of almost 400 kilometers. This data was provided by Marcos Alvarez, one of the observers of this educational project involving six educational centers in Asturias. Kids can program the pictures and choose whether they are day, night or even anywhere in the world. It is an educational project of the Sally Ride Institute with the University of San Diego, California, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among others.

Ilan Ruiz, Alejandro Garcia and Alvaro Alvarez search for orbit. They want to take pictures of Asturias and also of Seville. “We chose Seville because our friend Marcos Rodriguez is on vacation there,” Ruiz says. Once the relevant commands are given to the system, the Sally Ride Institute returns this footage to the Education Center.

Amir Jabrawi and Evelyn Velez search for Italy from their computer. The task is not easy but they succeed, and they have to make sure the space station passes over the country, and they program it so that Jessica Watkins – one of the crew members of the International Space Station – “takes pictures”. Marcos Alvarez concluded, “This activity is very interesting for the students as they learn mathematics, natural and social sciences, English and the environment.”

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Myrtle Frost

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