Since 2010, the International Space Station has been equipped with a space-based Vessel ID System receiver that allows it to track ships at sea by way of a ship’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) signal. Since then, the system aboard the ISS has been receiving as many as 400,000 ship position reports from more than 22,000 different ships every single day.
This is the story of how this experimental system was used in 2012 to rescue the sole surviving crewmember of a fishing vessel after it overturned in the North Atlantic during a storm.
More on NASA’s Vessel ID System experiment can be found HERE.
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