NASA: Not Accurate Space Agency

[Update 13:19 UTC: It would now seem that NASA has “resolved” the issue. But I’ve got proof:-)]

Open up NASA’s page tracking the Shuttle and the one tracking the International Space Station side by side. Notice something? They’re supposed to be docked as I blog this but NASA has the Shuttle ahead of ISS by a whole 5 minutes. Look:

ISS: 12:12 UTC:


Shuttle: 12:12 UTC:


ISS: 12:17 UTC:


The trajectory seems to be the same, it’s just that the Shuttle is leading ISS at a much lower altitude. It’s not an update timing issue, as a whole five 1-minute-interval updates span the difference. So where might they be? At the first location? The second? Are they filming the ISS footage in a studio in LA somewhere?

This explains why the KML dynamic link I uploaded earlier doesn’t have the two placemarks hugging. These are the pages Tom Mangan‘s script scrapes to provide “live” coordinates.

I’m sort of crestfallen. If you can’t trust NASA anymore, who can you trust? What’s the point of offering us civilians data to within a minute of precision if it is provably off by a minimum of 5 minutes?