If you ever notice when the sky at night is very much clear. Then you will notice a mobile object in the sky moving in the sky. Then there is a great chance that it would be International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the earth’s orbit. Yes, ISS can be seen through the naked eyes during the night when the sky is crystal clear. In today’s post, we will discuss the largest human-made space object ever, which is orbiting the earth’s orbit. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Introduction to ISS (International Space Station)
The International Space Station (ISS) is a multi-nation construction project that is the largest single structure humans ever put into space. Its construction was started in 1998 and completed in 2011, although the station continually evolves to include new missions and experiments.
The ISS includes contributions from 15 nations. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, United States), the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (ROSCOSMOS, Russia) and the European Space Agency (ESA, Europe) are the major partners of the space station who contribute most of the funding; the other partners are the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA, Canada).
As of January 2018, 230 individuals from 18 countries have visited the ISS; 145 from the US and 46 from Russia. The space station expected to be operated through 2028. Afterward, plans for the space station are not clearly laid out. It could be deorbited, or recycled for future space stations in orbit.
The crew’s members aboard the ISS are assisted by mission control centers in Houston and Moscow and a payload control center in Huntsville, Ala. Other international mission control centers support the space station from Japan, Canada, and Europe.
The giant super structure
The space station, spans the area of a U.S. football field, including its large solar arrays, and weighs 861,804 lbs. (391,000 kilograms), not including visiting vehicles. The complex now has a five-bedroom house and has two bathrooms, gym facilities, and a 360-degree bay window. Astronauts have also compared the space station’s living space to the cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
The ISS was taken into space piece-by-piece and gradually built in orbit using spacewalking astronauts and robotics. Most missions used NASA’s space shuttle to carry up the heavier pieces, although some individual modules were launched on single-use rockets. The ISS includes modules and connecting nodes that contain living quarters and laboratories, as well as exterior trusses that provide structural support, and solar panels that provide power.
The ISS was intended to be a laboratory, observatory, and factory in low Earth orbit. It was also planned to provide transportation, maintenance, and act as a staging base for possible future missions to the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. In the 2010 United States National Space Policy, the ISS was given additional roles of serving commercial, diplomatic and educational purposes.
It also provides a platform to conduct scientific research. Small unmanned spacecraft can provide platforms for zero gravity and exposure to space, but space stations offer a long-term environment where studies can be performed potentially for decades. To detect dark matter and answer other fundamental questions about our universe.
It’s crew members also provide opportunities for students on Earth by running student-developed experiments, making educational demonstrations, allowing for student participation in classroom versions of ISS experiments, and directly engaging students using radio, video link, and email. ESA offers a wide range of free teaching materials that can be downloaded for use in classrooms.
JAXA aims to stimulate the curiosity of children, and encouraging their passion to pursue craftsmanship and to heighten the child’s awareness of the importance of life and their responsibilities in society.
Some milestones at a glance
The ISS has already achieved some milestones over the years. Let’s take a look some of it:
- Most consecutive days (340 days) in space by an American, Which happened when Scott Kelly took part in a one-year mission to the ISS in 2015-16 along with Russian astronaut Mikhail Kornienko.
- Longest single spaceflight (289 days), Which is by an American astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.
- Most total time (665 days) spent in space by a woman. Again, Peggy Whitson.
- Most women (four) in space at once. This happened in April 2010 when women from two spaceflight missions met at the ISS.
- Longest single spacewalk (8 hours and 56 minutes) during STS-102, for an ISS construction in 2001.
- Longest Russian spacewalk (8 hours and 13 minutes) during Expedition 54, to repair an ISS antenna.
So that’s it for today guys. I hope you would have enjoyed it. If you have any suggestions and queries related to the post, let me know in the comment section below. Please do share this post to your circle to explore the knowledge you must know.
Information source: NASA, Wikipedia, Space.com