International Space Station Facts History & Tracking: The International Space Station is the most difficult scientific and technological project ever attempted.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a multi-nation building project that is the largest single structure mankind has ever placed in space.
The station’s major construction took place between 1998 and 2011, however, it is constantly evolving to include new missions and experiments. Since November 2, 2000, it has been continually occupied.
According to the European Space Agency
The International Space Station is a “cooperative program” between Europe, the United States, Russia, Canada, and Japan (ESA).
- 244 people from 19 countries have visited the International Space Station as of April 2021. The United States (153 persons) and Russia are the two countries with the most participants (50 people).
- Space agencies are assigned astronaut and research time on the space station based on how much money or resources (such as modules or robots) they supply.
- The International Space Station (ISS) is made up of contributions from 15 countries.
- The principal partners of the space station are NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), and the European Space Agency.
It Supplies the majority of the money; the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Canadian Space Agency are the other partners.
According to Current Plans
The space station will be operational until at least 2024, with the partners contemplating the possibility of extending the mission until 2028.
- Following that, the plans for the space station are not well-defined. It might either be deorbited or recycled for use in future space stations.
- Mission control centres in Houston and Moscow, as well as a payload control centre in Huntsville, Ala., aid crews on the ISS.
- Japan, Canada, and Europe all have mission control centres that support the space station.
Also read: Is Tiangong Chinese Space Station Complete?
Mission control facilities in Houston and Moscow can also control the ISS.
What Is the Best Way to See the International Space Station?
The Space Station flies at a distance of 248 miles (400 kilometres) above the Earth’s surface.
- It travels around the world every 90 minutes at a speed of roughly 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometres per hour).
- The station travels about the same distance as it would take to travel from Earth to the moon and back in a single day.
- The space station is as bright as the beautiful planet Venus and moves across the night sky as a bright moving light.
Night sky viewers who know when and where to look can see it without using a telescope from Earth.
What Are the Activities of Astronauts Onboard the ISS?
On the ISS, there is usually an international crew of seven people who live and work there.
- This number can fluctuate depending on the number of crew members changing over; for example, in 2009, 13 crew members visited the ISS. This is also the most people ever in space at the same time.
- Since NASA’s space shuttle programme ended in 2011, astronauts have often travelled to the space station in a Russian Soyuz capsule (first flown in 1967), which has long been the only spacecraft that transports people to the ISS.
- However, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule became the first privately-owned spacecraft to deliver humans to the International Space Station on March 3, 2020.
- Astronauts will normally spend roughly 6 months on the station doing various science experiments as well as maintaining and repairing the station.
- Astronauts will spend at least 2 hours outside of work on fitness and personal care.
- They also do spacewalks, hold media/school events for outreach, and provide updates on social media on occasion.
- Mike Massimino was the first astronaut to tweet from orbit, doing so from a space shuttle in May 2009.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a long-term study platform for human health that NASA describes as a critical stepping stone toward allowing humans to visit other solar system locations such as the moon or Mars.
Crews Are Responsible for Just for Science, but Also for the Station’s Upkeep
This sometimes necessitates their doing repairs on spacewalks. These repairs can be time-sensitive at times.
For example, when a component of the ammonia system breaks, which has happened on several occasions.
After a potentially fatal spacewalk in 2013, astronaut Luca Parmitano’s helmet filled with water while he was working outside the station, safety measures were altered.
NASA now responds rapidly to occurrences of “water ingress.” It’s also fitted pads to the spacesuits to absorb the liquid, as well as a tube to provide an alternate breathing place if the helmet fills with water.
The humanoid Robonaut 2 is one of several devices developed by NASA to decrease the need for spacewalks.
Robonaut 2 joined the crew of the International Space Station in 2011, however after identifying a flaw in the machine, it was returned to Earth in 2018 for repairs.
The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) – also known as Dextre – and the Canadarm2 are two external robotic arms onboard the ISS that can handle maintenance concerns remotely (a 57.7-foot-long robotic arm).
What Are the Iss’s Components?
The space station, including its huge solar arrays, is the size of a football field in the United States, including the end zones, and weighs 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilogrammes) without visiting spacecraft.
The building now offers more living space than a typical 6-bedroom home, as well as two baths, a gym, and a 360-degree bay window.
- The living quarters of the space station have also been compared to the cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
- The International Space Station was erected in orbit piece by piece with the help of spacewalking astronauts and robotics.
- Although some individual modules were launched on single-use rockets, the majority of missions used NASA’s space shuttle to bring up the heavier parts.
- The International Space Station (ISS) is made up of modules and connecting nodes that house living quarters and labs, as well as exterior trusses for structural support and solar panels for power.
- The first module, the Russia Zarya, was launched on a Proton rocket on November 20, 1998. The NASA Unity/Node 1 module was launched two weeks later by space shuttle flight STS-88.
During Sts-88; Astronauts Did Spacewalks to Connect the Two Parts of the Station
later, other parts of the station were launched on rockets or in the cargo bay of the space shuttle. The following are some of the other main modules and components:
The solar panels, the truss, and the airlocks (launched in stages throughout the ISS lifetime; docking adapters were launched in 2017 for new commercial spacecraft)
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