Every night when you look up at the sky, the stars, the moon and everything else in the outer space, did you know there are some human beings right there looking down at the earth from space? Did you know that there are different people living in space for many years? Yes, they are right there at the International Space Station (ISS).
What is ISS?
According to NASA, The International Space Station is a large spacecraft. It orbits around Earth. It is a home where astronauts live. The space station is also a science lab. Many countries worked together to build it. They also work together to use it. The space station is made of many pieces. The pieces were put together in space by astronauts. The space station’s orbit is approximately 250 miles above Earth. It circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h). In one day, the station travels about the distance it would take to go from Earth to the moon and back. NASA uses the station to learn about living and working in space.
History and Present
The first piece of the International Space Station was launched in 1998. A Russian rocket launched that piece. After that, more pieces were added. Two years later, the station was ready for people. The first crew arrived on November 2, 2000. People have lived on the space station ever since. Over time more pieces have been added. The space station was finished the space station in 2011. The space station is as big inside as a house with five bedrooms. It has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and a big bay window. It weighs almost a million pounds. It is big enough to cover a football field including the end zones. It has science labs from the United States, Russia, Japan and Europe.
The Parts of ISS
The space station has many parts. The parts are called modules. The first modules had parts needed to make the space station work. Astronauts also lived in those modules. Modules called “nodes” connect parts of the station to each other. Labs on the space station let astronauts do research.On the sides of the space station are solar arrays. These arrays collect energy from the sun. They turn sunlight into electricity. Robot arms are attached outside. The robot arms helped to build the space station. They also can move astronauts around outside and control science experiments.Airlocks on the space station are like doors. Astronauts use them to go outside on spacewalks. Docking ports are like doors, too. The ports allow visiting spacecraft to connect to the space station.
What is the Need of ISS?
The space station is a home in orbit. People have lived in space every day since the year 2000. The space station’s labs are where crew members do research. This research could not be done on Earth. Scientists study what happens to people when they live in space. The ISS is a platform for long-term research for human health, which NASA bills as a key stepping stone to letting humans explore other solar system destinations such as the moon or Mars. The space station is one of the first steps to sending humans deeper into space than ever before.