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IMAGE: A view of Puerto Rico taken from the International Space Station
A view of Puerto Rico taken from the International Space Station.
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Don Pettit Space Chronicles

Expedition Six
Space Chronicles #7

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By: ISS Science Officer Don Pettit

Land Ho!

Sometimes the continents are all cloud covered so you have no recognizable landmass in which to determine where you are. Under these circumstances, it is easy to at least determine if you are over America. If you see a crisscross of jet contrails, glistening in the sun above the clouds like the shiny paths left behind in the wake of garden snails, you know the most probable place is America. Thisis particularly useful when determining your arrival over the west coast. It is usually cloudy over the ocean when approaching the coastline but the telltale contrails scream, "Land ho!"


Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 05/13/2003
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