Watch the birth of the International Space Station 25 years …

Exactly 25 years ago, the American Unity module connected with Russia’s Zarya module in Earth orbit, marking the official launch of the International Space Station.

NASA shared a video on social media on Wednesday showing the US portion of the mission in which the Space Shuttle Endeavor carried the Unity module into space.

25 years of remarkable achievements.

On December 6, 1998, the six-member STS-88 crew docked Unity, the first American element of the International Space Station, with the already orbiting Zarya module, beginning the historic assembly of the orbiting laboratory. pic.twitter.com/Z48hGIcPXb

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) 6 December 2023

During the 12-day mission, Ross and Newman conducted three spacewalks to assist with assembly. Four days after rendezvous, the station opened for the first time, welcoming the crew aboard and setting the tone for the future of living and working in low-Earth orbit.

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) 6 December 2023

“On December 1998, the six-member STS-88 crew docked Unity, the first American element of the International Space Station, with the already-orbiting Zarya module, beginning the historic assembly of the orbiting laboratory,” NASA said in the post. X, formerly Twitter.

The 12-day mission included three spacewalks by Jerry Ross and James Newman to help with assembly of the station. Four days after the two modules were connected, the space station welcomed its first visitors.

More work was needed to make the orbiting laboratory habitable, and two years later, in November 2000, the first long-term stay of astronauts began, marking the beginning of an uninterrupted human presence on the space station that continues today. Is.

Several modules have been added to the ISS over the years, gradually increasing its size to allow more science research in microgravity conditions.

But the facility is aging, and while extensive work is underway to upgrade its power systems with rolled-out solar arrays, NASA and its international partners are expected to shut down the ISS in 2031.

The plan is to replace it with more modern, privately funded space stations, at least one of which will probably be deployed before the end of this decade.

For more ISS content, check out this gallery of 25 stunning images showing the station orbiting about 250 miles above Earth. Plus, this collection of informative videos shows how astronauts live and work on the space station. And if you’re interested in seeing the feature as it passes over your neighborhood (no telescope required!), this article on how to see the ISS tells you everything you need to know. .






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