Related topics: nasa · astronauts · space · space shuttle · spacewalk

After the Moon, people on Mars by 2033... or 2060

On December 11, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a directive ordering NASA to prepare to return astronauts to the Moon "followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations."

First-ever constructed image of a terrestrial gamma-ray flash

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes occur above some thunderstorms and propagate out into space. These high-energy discharges of photons were only discovered less than 25 years ago when a NASA spacecraft designed to observe cosmic ...

Space Station science looking at Earth

In this edition of our bi-weekly update on European research run on the International Space Station, we're taking our cue from the Living Planet Symposium – the largest conference on Earth Observation taking place this ...

Flame design in space may lead to soot-free fire

For decades, scientists have been able to burn fuels in a flame without creating any soot, and they think they know why. They've crunched the numbers and run experiments in high-tech facilities, but there's only one way to ...

Studying DNA breaks to protect future space travelers

Earth's atmosphere shields life on the ground from cosmic radiation that can damage DNA. Astronauts in space have no such protection, and that puts them at risk. An investigation on the International Space Station examines ...

Exobiology in a box

The International Space Station is the platform to study a variety of fields without gravity getting in the way. A new experiment is furthering the Station's capabilities for investigating exobiology, or the study of life ...

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International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally developed research facility currently being assembled in Low Earth Orbit. On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled to be complete by 2011, with operations continuing until at least 2015. As of 2009[update], the ISS is the largest artificial satellite in Earth orbit, with a mass larger than that of any previous space station.

The ISS is a joint project among the space agencies of the United States (National Aeronautics and Space Administration—NASA), Russia (Russian Federal Space Agency—RKA), Japan (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency—JAXA), Canada (Canadian Space Agency—CSA) and ten European nations (European Space Agency—ESA).[a] The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency (ASI) similarly has separate contracts for various activities not done within the framework of ESA's ISS projects (where Italy also fully participates). China has reportedly expressed interest in the project, especially if it would be able to work with the RKA, although as of 2009[update] it is not involved due to objections from the United States.

The space station can be seen from Earth with the naked eye, orbiting at an altitude of approximately 350 kilometres (220 mi) above the surface of the Earth, travelling at an average speed of 27,724 kilometres (17,227 mi) per hour, completing 15.7 orbits per day.

The ISS has been continuously staffed since the first resident crew, Expedition 1, entered the station on 2 November 2000. This has provided an uninterrupted human presence in space for the last &0000000000000008.0000008 years, &0000000000000269.000000269 days. Prior to May 2009, the station had the capacity for a crew of three. However, to fulfil an active research programme, since the arrival of Expedition 20, it has been staffed by a resident crew of six. The crew of Expedition 20 is currently aboard.

Early crew members all came from the American and Russian space programmes until German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter joined the Expedition 13 crew in July 2006. The station has been visited by astronauts from 16 different nations, and it was the destination of the first six space tourists.

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