20 Facts About the International Space Station


The International Space Station is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.

A space station, also known as an orbital station or an orbital space station, is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew, which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and for other spacecraft to dock.

In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit.

A low Earth orbit is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 kilometers, and 2,000 kilometers.

International Space Station Tour 2012 (HD) ISS Tour by sebastiansz


Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest man-made body in space and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

Naked eye, also called bare eye or unaided eye, is the practice of engaging in visual perception unaided by a magnifying or light-collecting optical device, such as a telescope or microscope.

Departing Space Station Commander Provides Tour of Orbital ... by NASA


The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components.

A photovoltaic system, also PV system or solar power system, is a power system designed to supply usable solar power by means of photovoltaics.


ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles.

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of the Space Shuttle program.


The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.

Human biology is an interdisciplinary area of study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as genetics, evolution, physiology, anatomy, epidemiology, anthropology, ecology, nutrition, population genetics and sociocultural influences.

Space environment is a branch of astronautics, aerospace engineering and space physics that seeks to understand and address conditions existing in space that affect the design and operation of spacecraft.

Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification and taxonomy.


The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.

The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits planet Earth, being Earth's only permanent natural satellite.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury.


The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft.


It completes 15.54 orbits per day.


The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.

Skylab was the United States' first space station, orbiting Earth from 1973 to 1979, when it fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention.

Mir was a space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, run by the Soviet Union and later by Russia.

The Almaz program was a highly secretive Soviet military space station program, begun in the early 1960s.


The station has been continuously occupied for 7008517783994000000♠16 years and 148 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000.


This is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 7008314841600000000♠9 years and 357 days held by Mir. The station is serviced by a variety of visiting spacecraft: the Russian Soyuz and Progress, the American Dragon and Cygnus, the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, and formerly the Space Shuttle and the European Automated Transfer Vehicle.

The H-II Transfer Vehicle, also called Kounotori, is an automated cargo spacecraft used to resupply the Kibō Japanese Experiment Module and the International Space Station.

The Automated Transfer Vehicle, originally Ariane Transfer Vehicle or ATV, was an expendable cargo spacecraft developed by the European Space Agency.


It has been visited by astronauts, cosmonauts and space tourists from 17 different nations.


After the US Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station, and Dragon became the only provider of bulk cargo return to Earth.

The Space Shuttle program, officially called the Space Transportation System, was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972.


Soyuz has very limited downmass capability.

According to the AIAA Space Logistics Technical Committee, space logistics is


The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, commonly known as Roscosmos, is the governmental body responsible for the space science program of Russia and general aerospace research.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, is Japan's national aero-space agency.


The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.


The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment and the United States Orbital Segment, which is shared by many nations.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.


As of January 2014, the American portion of ISS is being funded until 2024.


Roscosmos has endorsed the continued operation of ISS through 2024 but has proposed using elements of the Russian Orbital Segment to construct a new Russian space station called OPSEK.

The Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex is a Russian proposed third-generation modular space station in Low Earth orbit.


On 28 March 2015, Russian sources announced that Roscosmos and NASA had agreed to collaborate on the development of a replacement for the current ISS.

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