International Space Station (ISS) completed 20 years on November 20, 2018. The project was started by Russian space agency Roscosmos while it launched its Zarya module from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 20, 1998.The International Space Station on November 20, reached a two-decade milestone since the launch of its first module.The launch followed NASA’s Unity module. The pair was joined in low-earth orbit, which started a 13-year construction effort of the most ambitious construction project in the history of humanity. The result of the effort of International Space Station was a habitable artificial satellite, which currently serves as a giant orbiting observatory and laboratory.
ISS is the largest manned object in space, 357ft long, just a yard short of a full-length football field.
It weighs 419,725kg including the weight of spacecrafts. The space station can accommodate as many as six spacecrafts at one time.
It is the single most expensive object ever built at £93.4bn.
It is the third brightest object in the Earth’s night sky after the moon and Venus.
The space station is fast enough to go to the moon and back in a single day.
It orbits the earth approximately once every 90 minutes.
The zero gravity causes astronauts to float while doing their daily activities.
On September 2, 2017, Nasa’s Peggy Whitson set the record of being the longest-serving human in space.
The cost of the ISS estimates being between $100 and $150 billion.
Governments are looking to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond but the future of the 20-year-old ISS remains unclear, as NASA has committed funds only until 2024. There also have been preliminary talks of de-orbiting the station and crashing it into the Pacific Ocean or handing over the keys to private companies.
Many studies have looked at the human body’s response to long-duration spaceflight, a vital field to understand for the survival of humans during the 500-odd-day journey to and from Mars.The information extracted from exercises such as two astronauts’ record year-long stay on the station is crucial in helping humans push boundaries of space exploration.
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