Orbital View of Earth from Docked Shuttle Discovery
The International Space Station orbits 354 kilometers (220 miles) above the Earth, completing one trip around the globe every 92 minutes. Cruising along at 27,700 km (17,200 miles) per hour, the astronauts experience 15 or 16 sunrises and -sets every day. Since the launch of the Zarya Control Module on November 20, 1998, the station has orbited the Earth over 66,500 times (as of June 27, 2010). The station's orbit is inclined to the equator by 51.65deg, meaning at its most northerly, it is at the latitude of London, England, and at it most southerly it is over the latitude of the Falkland Islands.
This view features the lake-studded Tibetan Plateau (image center) and the glaciers of the Himalayan Mountains (image top). Smoke-shrouded lowlands hug the southern margin of the Himalaya at image top left.