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NASA's orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 gets first data

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3), the agency's newest carbon dioxide-measuring mission to launch into space, has seen the light. From its perch on the International Space Station, OCO-3 captured its first glimpses ...

Russia launches space telescope (Update)

Russia launched a space telescope Saturday from the cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in a joint mission with Germany intended to map X-rays across the sky and replace a project lost in January.

What will it take to live on the moon?

With NASA planning to revisit the lunar surface by 2024 and send multiple expeditions by 2028, Rutgers University's Haym Benaroya is optimistic that people will someday live on the moon.

Major shuffle at NASA in rush to meet Trump's moon deadline

NASA has replaced the head of its human space exploration directorate in a major shake-up, US media reported Wednesday, as the agency scrambles to meet President Donald Trump's ambitious deadline to return astronauts to the ...

Global animal tracking system Icarus is switched on

The German-Russian observation system for animal movements, Icarus, will go into operation on 10 July 2019. In the subsequent test phase, the Icarus engineers and scientists will check the system components on the ground, ...

NASA's ECOSTRESS maps European heat wave from space

Europe's massive heat wave is on its way out—and it's leaving a slew of broken temperature records in its wake. Many countries were gripped by temperatures above 104 Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) between June 26 and June ...

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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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