This picture shows the International Space Station. An astronaut on the Space Shuttle took this picture in 2002.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA.
International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is a large space station that orbits
Earth. There are astronauts and cosmonauts living onboard the ISS right now.
The ISS isn't completely finished, though. New sections will be added to the
ISS in the next few years. Sixteen countries, including the United States,
are working together on the ISS.
The first piece of the ISS was launched
in November 1998. Several more pieces
have been added since then. There is about as much room inside the ISS as there
is inside a couple of school busses. The ISS orbits 354 kilometers (220 miles)
The first crew of astronauts and cosmonauts started
living on the ISS in October
2000. The crews do experiments to learn how people and other creatures are
affected by living in space. They also learn how to make things in space, like
larger crystals or rounder ball bearings. The crews also spend time studying
Earth and figuring out what equipment is best to use for long trips in space.
Each crew spends about six months on the ISS before returning to Earth.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Three men made the International Space Station (ISS) their home on November 2, 2000. For the next four months, Russian astronauts Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev and American commander, William...more
The thermosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere. The thermosphere is directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. It extends from about 90 km (56 miles) to between 500 and 1,000 km (311 to...more
Observations of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds were first reported in the summer of 1885. The observations were made in northern Europe and Russia. In the late 1880’s, it was proposed that the clouds...more
In February 2009 two satellites in Earth orbit crashed into each other and were destroyed. This was the first time ever for a major collision between two satellites in Earth orbit. The satellites were...more
The space shuttle Atlantis finished its last flight when it landed on May 26, 2010. NASA is retiring the whole fleet of space shuttle orbiters by the end of 2010. Discovery and Endeavor are the other two...more
The International Space Station (ISS) is a large space station that orbits Earth. There are astronauts and cosmonauts living onboard the ISS right now. The ISS isn't completely finished, though. New sections...more
Astronauts are exposed to many different types of dangerous radiation in space. Space agencies, like NASA, must carefully monitor the radiation exposure of astronauts to make sure they remain safe and...more