International Space Station is an Earth orbiting laboratory. The station has
been in orbit since 1998 and is expected to remain in operation until at least
2020. The International Space Station is visited by ISS crew expeditions.
What is the International Space Station?
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest space project to date
and the most complex international scientific project in history. It is a joint a collaboration of 16
countries: United States (NASA), Russia (Russian Federal Space Agency - formerly Rosaviakosmos), Brazil, Canada (Canadian Space Agency), Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency. ESA members involved
are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. NASA uses the station to learn about
living and working in space.
Interesting Facts and Specs
Orbital Inclination: 51.6 degrees
Orbit Height: 370 km (230 miles)
Mass: 450,000 kg (990,000 lb) approx.
Days in Orbit: 5392 (August 2013)
Length: 72.8 m (239 ft)
Width: 108.5 m (356 ft)
The ISS is visited by a variety of
spacecraft use docking ports to connect to the space station. The
Quest Airlock enables access for spacewalks essential to the
facility's continuing construction.
Canadarm2 is a Canadian-built apparatus is a large,
remote-controlled space arm that functions as a crane and is being
utilized for a wide variety of tasks.
The International Space
Station travels around the Earth at an average speed of 27,700
km/hr and completes 16 orbits per day
constructed, the Space Station will be visible to more than 90
percent of the world's population.
Also when finished the space station will be one of the brightest objects
in the sky.
How Big Is the Space
The ISS is as big inside as a house with five bedrooms and can
cover a football field. It has science labs from the United
States, Russia, Japan and Europe. Six live on the ISS. It weighs
almost a million pounds. The ISS will be 5 times larger than
How Old Is the
The first module of the International Space Station was launched
in 1998. The first crew arrived in October 2000. People have lived
on the space station ever since.
ISS Expedition Crews are delivered to the ISS Russia's Soyuz
Shuttle is no longer used because it has
been retired. At present, the Soyuz functions as the only crewed space
vehicle and is the ISS Emergency Crew
Vehicle. Cargo is delivered by Russia's Progress
Spacecraft, Europe's ATV, Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle
and SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The US Space Shuttle is no longer used for
crew and cargo delivery to the ISS. It was retired in 2011.
Missions: The current mission is
Space Shuttle and the ISS
Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-88 was the first Space Shuttle mission
to the International Space Station (ISS). It also carried the
first American module (the Unity node) to the station.
space shuttle to the International Space Station was
Space Shuttle Atlantis
STS-135. The final mission was launched on 8 July 2011.
What are the Parts of the Space Station?
The International Space Station consists of many parts called
modules. These modules provide living areas. Modules called
'nodes' connect other parts. Labs on the space station let
astronauts do research.
Solar Arrays are used to collect energy from the sun. They turn it
into electricity. They are located on the sides of the space
station. Robot arms are attached outside. Some helped to build the
space station. They can also move astronauts around outside. Other
arms control science experiments.
Airlocks on the space station are like doors. Astronauts use them
to go outside on spacewalks. Astronauts work in spacesuits to help
build and maintain the space station.
International Space Station Modules
The following modules are present in orbit:
1. Zarya Module (FGB) - Zarya as the first ISS module to be placed in
orbit. It was launched November 20, 1998.
Specs: Length:12.56 m (41.2 ft) Diameter — 4.11 m (13.5 ft) Solar array length —
10.67 m (35.0 ft) Solar array width — 3.35 m (11.0 ft) Mass — 19,323 kg (42,600
2. Unity Module (Node Module 1) - carried by STS-88 Endeavour on December
3. Zvezda (Service Module) - Zvezda Module was
launched on 12th July, 2000 on a Proton rocket.
4. Destiny Laboratory Module - carried by STS-88 Atlantis on February 1,
5. Joint Airlock (Quest airlock) - carried on STS-104 Atlantis on July
6. Docking Compartment (Pirs airlock) - delivered on August 14, 2001 by a
Russian Progress-M spacecraft.
7. Harmony (Node 2):
8. Tranquility (Node 3)
9. Destiny (Laboratory) - launched on February 7, 2001 aboard the Space Shuttle
Atlantis on STS-98.
10. Columbus (Laboratory)
11. Kibo (PM, ELM-PS, EF)
12. Quest (Airlock) ·
13. Pirs (Airlock / Docking Module)
14. Rassvet (MRM 1) - flown to the ISS aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on
the STS-132 mission on May 14, 2010.
15. Poisk (MRM 2) - Launched on November 10, 2009 on a Soyuz-U rocket
16. Leonardo (PMM)
17. Cupola - Launched aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-130 on 8 February
18. Integrated Truss Structure (ITS)
19. Bigelow Expandable
Activity Module (BEAM) - first inflatable space station module. Launch in
NASA has introduced a service which alerts when the International
Space Station from your house? Several times a week, Mission
Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, determines
sighting opportunities for 4,600 locations worldwide. NASA's Spot
The Station service sends an email or text message a few hours
before a sighting opportunity near you.
The ISS has been continuously
staffed since 2 November 2000. It is the 9th inhabited Space
Dennis Tito visited the International Space Station as the first space
tourist in 2001. French Astronaut Claudie Haignere was the first European
woman to serve aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The French-Russian
flight blasted off to the ISS on October 21, 2001.
SpaceX CRS-1 was the first commercial resupply mission to the International
Space Station. It was launched for on Sunday, October 7 2012.
Kirobo, Earth's first talking robot to go off world visited the
International Space Station in 2013 and its prime directive is to tackle loneliness.
FIRST YEAR-LONG MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MAY BEGIN
IN MARCH 2015.
First Year-Long Mission to the International Space Station may begin
in March 2015 following an agreement between ISS partners who
previously sent crews for six months.
Alexei Krasnov, in charge of manned flights at the Federal Space
Agency said the decision was made by participants in the International
Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy during the first week of
The single mission / two-person expedition will be a first test, the
result of which will determine whether all flights are extended to a
year. Two members of the international crew, a Russian cosmonaut and a
NASA astronaut will be picked to carry out this year long mission.
* NASA planned to use X-38 as a Crew Return Vehicle, however it was cancelled in 2001 due
to budgetary reasons.
* In the future a derivative of the Crew
Exploration Vehicle (CEV) may be used.
* In the future
the ISS may be privatized.
Creating the International Space Station by David M.
Harland, John E. Catchpole
in the Space
International Space Station Poster
Inside the Space
Station (2000) from Amazon.com
NASA: Space Shuttle - Training,
Facilities, Space Station from
International Space Station / Human Spaceflight / Our
Activities /: by ESA
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