Celebrating 15 Years of Humans Living on the International Space Station

Monday, 02 November 2015 - 2:22PM
Technology
NASA
Monday, 02 November 2015 - 2:22PM
Celebrating 15 Years of Humans Living on the International Space Station
On November 2nd in the year 2000, history was made when three astronauts stepped inside the International Space station kicking off 15 consecutive years of the human inhabitation of the orbital science station. Since that day, the ISS has been host to some remarkable human achievements, all of which occurred some 200 miles above our planet and with a distinct lack of gravity.

William Shepherd, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko were the first to call the ISS home, but in the years following their pioneering stint in space, no fewer than 372 spaceflights have carried a staggering 217 astronauts to the orbital science station. These are just two of the impressive numbers that have been generated by the ISS over the last 15 years, and NASA is celebrating the many achievements of the ISS and the brave men and women who have inhabited it with an enlightening infographic that serves as a one-stop shop for scientific excellence in space.



Initially a joint venture by NASA and the Russian Space Federation, the International Space Station has gone on to see 17 countries collaborating on its construction and maintenance. The first modules of the ISS were put in place all the way back in 1998, but since then over 1000 hours of spacewalk time have seen 159 modules added, creating the ISS we all know today. 


In its current state, the ISS measures approximately 356ft (109m) wide, which to put into perspective is just shy of the width of Star Trek's Starship Enterprise (417ft) and almost exactly the same width of a full-sized football field.



Having already delivered countless valuable scientific insights, the ISS is set to continue to prove a major source of scientific discovery through at least the year 2024. Unless space agencies pledge to support the station beyond that time, the ISS will be brought down to Earth with a bang as it is purposefully crashed into the Pacific Ocean.  But before that happens, more history will be made within the station's confines, including the conclusion of NASA astronaut Mike Kelly's year in space as well as countless studies that scientists hope will pave the way to long distance human spaceflight.

To this day, exploits on the ISS remain one of the few areas of cooperation between the US and Russia, and when all is said and done, there's no doubt that we will look back upon the it as one of the great pieces of human achievement in recent history.
Science
Space
Technology
NASA

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