Who's in Space Right Now?
It's easy to forget that, right now, there are humans in space. The advent of the continuously-crewed International Space Station has made this routine, but it still blows my mind that, as of this writing, six people are in space. If you're curious about who's in space, or where they are, here are some resources to help you keep tabs on our spacefaring friends.
1. How Many People are in Space Right Now?
A single-serving website, howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com gives you the answer, which is currently six. It also lists the specifics below, ranking crew members by their number of days in space, and links to profile pages on their space agencies' sites.
The site also has an app for iOS, with various added features, including push notifications when the number changes. The website is free; the app isn't.
2. Current Position of the ISS
If you're curious where the ISS is (and as of this writing, it's the only craft hosting humans in space), the ISS AstroViewer has you covered. It shows a live view of what the ISS would see, looking straight down at the earth, plus a track view showing the projected track of the station in its orbit (along with day/night bands).
An extra-cool feature is the Observation page, which helps you figure out times when the ISS will be overhead (or at least visible), along with relative brightness.
See also: Spot the Station, which can text you when the station approaches!
3. Live ISS View on UStream
Live, streaming ISS video! Of course, when I first tuned in, I got a blue screen. NASA explains (emphasis added):
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.
4. SpaceX on Livestream
If you want to keep track of SpaceX launches and other events, they have a LiveStream channel. If you subscribe, the app can notify you when an event is coming up!
5. Use IFTTT to Be Notified About Launches
The If This Then That (IFTTT) app allows you to create all sorts of simple programmatic workflows, known as "recipes." My favorite is a recipe that notifies you when an astronaut enters space! (There's also one for when astronauts leave space.)
IFTTT is free, and works on a wide variety of devices and operating systems. Learn more about IFTTT if you haven't used it before.
Related: an API (Application Programming Interface) that provides this data, so programmers can make services based on it.