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The International Space Station: Apex of International Collaboration

The International Space Station: Apex of International Collaboration

It’s National Space Day! To mark the occasion, we’re reflecting on the International Space Station, which has been continuously occupied since Nov. 2, 2000. As our orbiting laboratory that enables us to conduct important science off our home planet, the ISS allows researchers from all over the world to put their talents to work on innovative experiments in the microgravity environment. An international partnership of space agencies provides and operates the elements of the ISS. The principals are the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. Although each space station partner has distinct agency goals for station research, each partner shares a unified goal to extend the resulting knowledge for the betterment of humanity! Here are 5 fun facts about our about our out-of-this world floating laboratory:

1. The ISS is a unique scientific platform that has enabled
more than 3,600 researchers in 106 countries and areas to conduct more than 2,500 experiments in microgravity through February 2018—and the research continues. 

2. Astronauts and cosmonauts have conducted more than 205 spacewalks (and counting!) for space station construction, maintenance and repair since December 1998.


3. The station’s orbital path takes it over 90 percent of the Earth’s population, with astronauts taking millions of images of the planet below. 

4. Six spaceships can be connected to the space station at once.


5. An international crew of at most six people live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting Earth about every 90 minutes.

Currently, six humans are living and working on the International Space Station, which orbits 250 miles above our planet at 17,500mph. 

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