The International Space Station is a triumph of technological achievement and a symbol of international cooperation. Here are some interesting facts you may not know about this incredible structure:
The International Space Station is the largest space station ever created.
The ISS is one of the most complex (some would say THE most complex) international scientific projects ever to take place.
The ISS is the largest structure ever to be assembled in space.
The pressurized living and working space for the astronauts is equivalent to the interior of a jumbo jet.
The ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2, 2000 and can house up to 6 astronauts at a time.
The ISS will continue in operation until at least 2020, and possibly until 2028.
It took almost 1000 hours of EVA activity to build the space station.
The building of the ISS was a collaboration between 5 different space agencies: the United States, Canada, Russia, Europe, and Japan.
The ISS weights about 925,000 pounds – equal to more than 330 cars.
The ISS orbits between 230-286 miles above the Earth – in the same ballpark as the distance between Washington, DC and New York, NY.
The ISS is one of the brightest objects in the night sky, at times second only to the moon in brightness.
The ISS orbits the Earth 16 times a day. That means the astronauts aboard get to see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day.
During the day, the external temperature of the ISS reaches 200 degrees Celsius At night, the temperatures drop to -200 degrees Celsius
The pictures in this post were taken some years ago, before the ISS received all of its Solar Array Wings and all 11 pieces of its Integrated Truss Structure. I love looking at these pictures because to me they represent the best that humanity has to offer.
I hope you enjoyed these facts about the International Space Station!