Rocketman spots International Space Station zooming through the Hornchurch sky

The international space station flies overhead tonight

The international space station flies overhead tonight - Credit: citizenside.com

An astronomy enthusiast and rocket builder spotted the International Space Station (ISS) from his garden.

Peter Barrett, from Hornchurch, keen astonomer and sci fi enthusiast builds his own rockets.

Peter Barrett, from Hornchurch, keen astonomer and sci fi enthusiast builds his own rockets. - Credit: Archant

Peter Barrett, 42, of Greytowers Gardens, Hornchurch, took photographs of the ISS after being alerted to its presence through an app which monitors its position in the sky.

Often visible with the naked eye, the space station has been orbiting around the Earth since 1998.

Mr Barrett said: “I was waiting out in my garden to see it on Sunday night and it appeared at about 5.30pm. I’ve seen it many times before. You can see it in the sky about once a month,” he said.

“It’s really nice to see it but I do get some funny looks from people when I’m outside with my camera.”


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With a permanent crew of six astronauts working on the ISS, its primary function is to carry out research into areas such as physics, astronomy and meteorology

Mr Barrett has also built and launched about 60 of his own home-made rockets – with names like Maniac, The Terror and Gnome – in to the skies.

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“My rockets have gone up to 8,000 feet in the air,” he said.

Mr Barrett is keen to share his passion with others and has visited schools in and around Hornchurch to teach children and young people how to build their own rockets.

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