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

Dusty vacuums may be astronauts' biggest health risk

Human lungs have proven to be remarkably adaptable to life in space, but dust may their biggest challenge, even greater than the lack of gravity, according to a leading aerospace medicine expert, writing in the Medical Journal ...

Fulfilling a dream: To study Earth from space

During her childhood in northern Maine, Jessica Meir often stared at the night sky and wondered what it would be like to observe earth from space.

Russia terminates robot Fedor after space odyssey

It's mission over for a robot called Fedor that Russia blasted to the International Space Station, the developers said Wednesday, admitting he could not replace astronauts on space walks.

Image: Space bubble

Things got heated on the International Space Station this week after the Multiscale Boiling experiment, known as Rubi, was successfully switched on.

Fire forces Japan to cancel rocket launch to ISS

A pre-dawn fire on Wednesday forced Japan's space agency to cancel the launch of an unnamed rocket meant to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, the operator said.

India locates missing Moon lander

Indian space scientists were desperately trying Tuesday to establish communication with their broken Moon lander, having located the probe that went silent moments before it was due to make a historic soft landing.

Space station science return and spacecraft shuffle

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano's Beyond mission has kicked into high gear during the last two weeks. He has been keeping the International Space Station running smoothly as well as working remotely with European researchers—with ...

A concrete advantage for space explorers

When humans go to the Moon or Mars to stay, they will need to construct safe places in which to live and work. The most widely used building material on Earth, concrete, may be the answer. It is strong and durable enough ...

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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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