iss15

Today we celebrate the 15th birthday of the International Space Station. The ISS is one of the pinnacles of human achievement. What makes the station so incredible is that it wasn’t just the project by one nation but was instead a full collaboration of several space programs across the globe. In fact, the ISS is the largest cooperative project ever carried out in science.

It serves as a crucial research laboratory for experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, and meteorology. It’s also an important step as we test spacecraft systems, equipment and human endurance, setting up missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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The International Space Station, the largest co-operative project ever carried out in science, turned 15 years old today!

Here are some cool facts (via @NASA):

  • The ISS travels an equivalent distance to the Moon and back in about a day.
  • More than 136 space flights were conducted on 7 different types of launch vehicles to construct the ISS.
  • 68 countries have been involved in research aboard the ISS.
  • There are 52 computers controlling the numerous systems on the ISS.
  • The US solar array surface area on the ISS is large enough to cover 8 basketball courts.
  • The ISS weighs almost 1 million pounds (including visiting spacecraft) and has more livable space than a 6-bedroom house.