An impressive feat of modern engineering and a remarkable example of what can be achieved by cross-border collaboration, the International Space Station (ISS) is marking its 25th year of operation this week.
At the top of this page you can enjoy a gallery of 25 stunning images of the ISS, most of them taken from spacecraft visits or departures.
The first two elements of the station – Unity and Zarya – were connected by crew members of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s STS-88 mission on December 6, 1998, marking the first long-term stay by astronauts that marked a sustained human presence on it. Marked the beginning of. The ISS, which exists to this day, was not launched before November 2000.
The facility is about 250 miles above Earth and makes a complete orbit around our planet approximately once every 90 minutes.
Over the years, the ISS has grown so large that NASA describes it as “bigger than a six-bedroom house”, measuring 357 feet (108 m) from end to end, about the size of an American football field. Is. , It includes six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a gym and several research facilities.
“Through this global effort, astronauts have lived and worked continuously aboard the space station for more than 23 years, testing technologies, performing science, and communicating with Earth,” NASA said in a message posted on its website. “Developed the skills needed to explore far.” Week.
It said: “More than 3,300 research and educational investigations have been conducted on the station from 108 countries and territories. Many of these research and technology investigations benefit people on Earth, and many lay the groundwork for future commercial destinations in low Earth orbit and exploration in the Solar System.
During its quarter century in orbit, 273 people from 21 countries have visited the ISS, many of whom lived in microgravity conditions for up to six months before returning to Earth.
To learn more about how astronauts live and work on the ISS, check out this collection of videos made by various visitors to the facility over the years.
Also, did you know that you can see the ISS in the sky with the naked eye? Find out how to see the International Space Station as it passes overhead.