All HALE the space station! Simon speculates what it could be:
I have been giving this question some more thought lately. I know, the following may slightly contradict some of my earlier ISS musings here, but I’m sure you will appreciate that this isn’t an easy issue to wrap one’s head around. For the sake of (reasoned / no-nonsense / reality-checked) discussion, let me just postulate that the “I$$” is perhaps nothing but a solar-powered drone, somewhat similar to this “SOLAR EAGLE 650” – which DARPA claims to be “under development”. Of course, this would mean that it travels at far, far lower speeds and altitudes (than the 28.000 km/h – and 400 km of altitude) claimed for the ISS – and at CONSTANTLY DIVERSE / FLUCTUATING altitudes and paths. In order to support this contention, I will submit a few simple calculations based on my own observations of the
alleged “International Space Station” – as it passes above my house in Frascati, on the outskirts of Rome (I have now been able to witness more than a dozen, cloudless fly-overs in the last year or so, having subscribed to NASA’s “Spot the Station e-mail alert service”).