WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Space Station to provide a treat Wednesday night

Posted October 30, 2012 11:41 p.m. EDT

Set your alarm for 7:20 p.m. tomorrow and look to the northwestern sky for a Halloween treat, courtesy of NASA and over a dozen other space agencies.

The International Space Station (ISS) will rise from the northwest horizon around 7:20 p.m. and will set about six minutes later on the
southwestern horizon. You wouldn't expect to be able to see something traveling 17,500 mph, 250 miles up, but the station is very easy to see. It appears like a fast-moving star.

Bring the bowl of candy out to the end of the driveway or pause wherever you are with your little trick-or-treaters. Maybe give the first to spot it a little extra something from the treat bowl.

The six astronauts aboard the ISS aren't expecting any costumed children knocking on their door. They will be visited by an unmanned Progress Spacecraft set to launch Wednesday morning for a rare same day docking. Halloween treats will be among the supplies.

M&Ms are among the favorite candies sent to space because they are as much fun to play with in microgravity as they are to eat. Even NASA's brand-neutral name for them – "candy-coated chocolates" – can't take the fun away.

Sweet Tarts, Snickers, Starburst, Peanut Butter Cups, candy corn and even Milky Way bars have also flown on various shuttle, ISS, and other missions. Still the surprise treat that most excites astronauts: fresh fruit.