International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. It speeds around the earth from hundreds of miles up. “On January 29, 1998, fifteen countries signed the intergovernmental agreements (IGA) establishing the framework for cooperation among the partners on the design, development, operation and utilization of the Space Station.” (“Partner Signs ISS”). The idea for using the ISS is as a platform to explore the Moon, Mars and other potential destinations. The ISS has become the largest space station ever constructed, the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted, and the most important science project in human history.
The ISS is bigger and has more capacity than any other space station ever constructed. To complete the huge project, it took several years and billions of dollars to finish the assembly of the ISS. According to NASA:
Over 50 assembly and utilization flights will be required for the ISS to be completely assembled. The Station in its final shape will have a mass of about 1 million pounds. The Station will have a length of 110 meters across and 90 meters long. There will be approximately one acre of solar panels that will provide up to 110 kilowatts of power to the six laboratories aboard the Station. (Duck 11).
When fully constructed, the ISS will be the biggest spacecraft in the world. It will be visible by most of the earth’s population. Meanwhile, the ISS is a home where astronauts live. Right now, up to seven astronauts can live on board the station in shifts of three to six months. “The complex is as big inside as a house with five bedrooms, has more livable room than a conventional five-bedroom house, and has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and a 360-degree bay window” (“Facts and Figures”). It has already been visited by many astronauts from partner countries. There is no any other space stations are comparable with ISS. This assembly of the ISS is a...
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"Facts and Figures." NASA. NASA. n.d. Web. 2 Jun 2013.
"Overview of ISS Earth Observations" NASA. NASA. n.d. Web. 5 Jun 2013.
"Partners Sign ISS Agreements." NASA. NASA. n.d. Web. 2 Jun 2013.
Raftery, Michael, and Jeffrey Hoffman. "International Space Station As A Base Camp For Exploration Beyond Low Earth Orbit." Acta Astronautica 85.(2013): 25-32. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 May 2013.
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