Space has always been considered to be mystical, surreal and far out of reach. But 20 years ago a giant leap was taken when the first component of the International Space Station was launched. Today, it has evolved into a fully habitable artificial satellite. It serves as a research laboratory in the space environment where the crew can conduct various experiments in astronomy, physics, biology etc.

Facts About ISS

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA), Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Russia), Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan), European Space Agency (Headquarter in Paris) and Canadian Space Agency (Canada) are the five participating space agencies in the International Space Station.
  • The ISS is divided into 2 main sections. These are the Russian Orbital Section and the United States Orbital Section.
  • ISS is the largest human-made object in low Earth orbit which can frequently be seen with the naked eye from the Earth.
  • It has continuously been occupied for the last 18 years and is the ninth space station which is inhabited by crews.
  • The ISS is a third generation modular space station.

Assembly Of ISS

International Space Station
Work In Progress at the International Space Station

The ISS was put together piece by piece and was a major endeavor of any architectural kind in space. Its first component was the Zarya which was a Functional Cargo Block (FGB). It provided electrical power, propulsion, guidance, communication, and storage to the ISS during its initial setup stages. Two weeks later the Unity was launched. It was a connecting module which facilitated connections to other components. Unity was the first connecting module which was later on joined by Harmony and Tranquility. In the year 2000, Zvezda was launched. It was the third module and provides the entire station’s critical life support systems. Until now the crew came and left but did not stay in the space station itself. Finally, in November 2000 the first resident crew arrived on the International Space Station. Since then the space station has grown steadily.

ISS Today

International Space Station

As of June 2011, it consists of the Integrated Truss Structure and 15 pressurized modules. Five modules are yet to be launched the first of which is to be in November 2019.

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