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    The International Space Station is the largest and most complex international scientific project in history. And when it is complete just after the turn of the century, the the station will represent a move of unprecedented scale off the home planet. Led by the United States, the International Space Station draws upon the scientific and technological resources of 16 nations: Canada, Japan, Russia, 11 nations of the European Space Agency and Brazil.

    More than four times as large as the Russian Mir space station, the completed International Space Station will have a mass of about 1,040,000 pounds. It will measure 356 feet across and 290 feet long, with almost an acre of solar panels to provide electrical power to six state-of-the-art laboratories.

    The station will be in an orbit with an altitude of 250 statute miles with an inclination of 51.6 degrees. This orbit allows the station to be reached by the launch vehicles of all the international partners to provide a robust capability for the delivery of crews and supplies. The orbit also provides excellent Earth observations with coverage of 85 percent of the globe and over flight of 95 percent of the population. By the end of this year, about 500,000 pounds of station components will be have been built at factories around the world.

    U.S. Role and Contributions

    The United States has the responsibility for developing and ultimately operating major elements and systems aboard the station. The U.S. elements include three connecting modules, or nodes; a laboratory module; truss segments; four solar arrays; a habitation module; three mating adapters; a cupola; an unpressurized logistics carrier and a centrifuge module. The various systems being developed by the U.S. include thermal control; life support; guidance, navigation and control; data handling; power systems; communications and tracking; ground operations facilities and launch-site processing facilities.

    International Contributions

    The international partners, Canada, Japan, the European Space Agency, and Russia, will contribute the following key elements to the International Space Station:

    · Canada is providing a 55-foot-long robotic arm to be used for assembly and maintenance tasks on the Space Station.

    · The European Space Agency is building a pressurized laboratory to be launched on the Space Shuttle and logistics transport vehicles to be launched on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

    · Japan is building a laboratory with an attached exposed exterior platform for experiments as well as logistics transport vehicles.

    · Russia is providing two research modules; an early living quarters called the Service Module with its own life support and habitation systems; a science power platform of solar arrays that can supply about 20 kilowatts of electrical power; logistics transport vehicles; and Soyuz spacecraft for crew return and transfer.

    In addition, Brazil and Italy are contributing some equipment to the station through agreements with the United States.

    ISS Phase One: The Shuttle-Mir Program

    The first phase of the International Space Station, the Shuttle-Mir Program, began in 1995 and involved more than two years of continuous stays by astronauts aboard the Russian Mir Space Station and nine Shuttle-Mir docking missions. Knowledge was gained in technology, international space operations and scientific research.

    Seven U.S. astronauts spent a cumulative total of 32 months aboard Mir with 28 months of continuous occupancy since March 1996. By contrast, it took the U.S. Space Shuttle fleet more than a dozen years and 60 flights to achieve an accumulated one year in orbit. Many of the research programs planned for the International Space Station benefit from longer stay times in space. The U.S. science program aboard the Mir was a pathfinder for more ambitious experiments planned for the new station.

    For less than two percent of the total cost of the International Space Station program, NASA gained knowledge and experience through Shuttle-Mir that could not be achieved any other way. That included valuable experience in international crew training activities; the operation of an international space program; and the challenges of long duration spaceflight for astronauts and ground controllers. Dealing with the real-time challenges experienced during Shuttle-Mir missions also has resulted in an unprecedented cooperation and trust between the U.S. and Russian space programs, and that cooperation and trust has enhanced the development of the International Space Station.

    Research on the International Space Station

    The International Space Station will establish an unprecedented state-of-the-art laboratory complex in orbit, more than four times the size and with almost 60 times the electrical power for experiments — critical for research capability — of Russia's Mir. Research in the station's six laboratories will lead to discoveries in medicine, materials and fundamental science that will benefit people all over the world. Through its research and technology, the station also will serve as an indispensable step in preparation for future human space exploration.

    Examples of the types of U.S. research that will be performed aboard the station include:

    · Protein crystal studies: More pure protein crystals may be grown in space than on Earth. Analysis of these crystals helps scientists better understand the nature of proteins, enzymes and viruses, perhaps leading to the development of new drugs and a better understanding of the fundamental building blocks of life. Similar experiments have been conducted on the Space Shuttle, although they are limited by the short duration of Shuttle flights. This type of research could lead to the study of possible treatments for cancer, diabetes, emphysema and immune system disorders, among other research.

    · Tissue culture: Living cells can be grown in a laboratory environment in space where they are not distorted by gravity. NASA already has developed a Bioreactor device that is used on Earth to simulate, for such cultures, the effect of reduced gravity. Still, these devices are limited by gravity. Growing cultures for long periods aboard the station will further advance this research. Such cultures can be used to test new treatments for cancer without risking harm to patients, among other uses.

    · Life in low gravity: The effects of long-term exposure to reduced gravity on humans – weakening muscles; changes in how the heart, arteries and veins work; and the loss of bone density, among others – will be studied aboard the station. Studies of these effects may lead to a better understanding of the body’s systems and similar ailments on Earth. A thorough understanding of such effects and possible methods of counteracting them is needed to prepare for future long-term human exploration of the solar system. In addition, studies of the gravitational effects on plants, animals and the function of living cells will be conducted aboard the station. A centrifuge, located in the Centrifuge Accommodation Module, will use centrifugal force to generate simulated gravity ranging from almost zero to twice that of Earth. This facility will imitate Earth’s gravity for comparison purposes; eliminate variables in experiments; and simulate the gravity on the Moon or Mars for experiments that can provide information useful for future space travels.

    · Flames, fluids and metal in space: Fluids, flames, molten metal and other materials will be the subject of basic research on the station. Even flames burn differently without gravity. Reduced gravity reduces convection currents, the currents that cause warm air or fluid to rise and cool air or fluid to sink on Earth. This absence of convection alters the flame shape in orbit and allows studies of the combustion process that are impossible on Earth, a research field called Combustion Science. The absence of convection allows molten metals or other materials to be mixed more thoroughly in orbit than on Earth. Scientists plan to study this field, called Materials Science, to create better metal alloys and more perfect materials for applications such as computer chips. The study of all of these areas may lead to developments that can enhance many industries on Earth.

    · The nature of space: Some experiments aboard the station will take place on the exterior of the station modules. Such exterior experiments can study the space environment and how long-term exposure to space, the vacuum and the debris, affects materials. This research can provide future spacecraft designers and scientists a better understanding of the nature of space and enhance spacecraft design. Some experiments will study the basic forces of nature, a field called Fundamental Physics, where experiments take advantage of weightlessness to study forces that are weak and difficult to study when subject to gravity on Earth. Experiments in this field may help explain how the universe developed. Investigations that use lasers to cool atoms to near absolute zero may help us understand gravity itself. In addition to investigating basic questions about nature, this research could lead to down-to-Earth developments that may include clocks a thousand times more accurate than today’s atomic clocks; better weather forecasting; and stronger materials.

    · Watching the Earth: Observations of the Earth from orbit help the study of large-scale, long-term changes in the environment. Studies in this field can increase understanding of the forests, oceans and mountains. The effects of volcanoes, ancient meteorite impacts, hurricanes and typhoons can be studied. In addition, changes to the Earth that are caused by the human race can be observed. The effects of air pollution, such as smog over cities; of deforestation, the cutting and burning of forests; and of water pollution, such as oil spills, are visible from space and can be captured in images that provide a global perspective unavailable from the ground.

    · Commercialization: As part of the Commercialization of space research on the station, industries will participate in research by conducting experiments and studies aimed at developing new products and services. The results may benefit those on Earth not only by providing innovative new products as a result, but also by creating new jobs to make the products.

    Assembly in Orbit

    By the end of this year, most of the components required for the first seven Space Shuttle missions to assemble the International Space Station will have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center. The first and primary fully Russian contribution to the station, the Service Module, is scheduled to be shipped from Moscow to the Kazakstan launch site in February 1999.

    Orbital assembly of the International Space Station will begin a new era of hands-on work in space, involving more spacewalks than ever before and a new generation of space robotics. About 850 clock hours of spacewalks, both U.S. and Russian, will be required over five years to maintain and assemble the station. The Space Shuttle and two types of Russian launch vehicles will launch 45 assembly missions. Of these, 36 will be Space Shuttle flights. In addition, resupply missions and changeouts of Soyuz crew return spacecraft will be launched regularly.

    The first crew to live aboard the International Space Station, commanded by U.S. astronaut Bill Shepherd and including Russian cosomonauts Yuri Gidzenko as Soyuz Commander and Sergei Krikalev as Flight Engineer, will be launched in early 2000 on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They, along with the crews of the first five assembly missions, are now in training. The timetable and sequence of flights for assembly, beyond the first two, will be further refined at a meeting of all the international partners in December 1998. Assembly is planned to be complete by 2004.

    The International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility currently being assembled in orbit around the Earth. It is a joint project between five space agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, United States), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos, Russian Federation), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA, Canada) and the European Space Agency (ESA, Europe).[2]

    The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB, Brazil) participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency similarly has separate contracts for various activities not done in the framework of ESA's ISS works (where Italy also fully participates).

    The ISS is a continuation of what began as the U.S. Space Station Freedom, the funding for which was cut back severely. It represents a merger of Freedom with several other previously planned space stations: Russia's Mir 2, the planned European Columbus and the Japanese Experiment Module. Construction of the station is currently underway, with a projected completion date of 2010, but ISS is already larger than any previous space station.

    The ISS has been continuously inhabited since the first resident crew entered the station on November 2, 2000, thereby providing a permanent human presence in space. The station is serviced primarily by Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft and by U.S. Space Shuttle orbiters. At present the station has a capacity for a crew of three. Early crewmembers all came from the Russian or U.S. space programs. German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter joined the Expedition 13 crew in July 2006, becoming the first crewmember from another space agency. The station has however been visited by astronauts from 14 countries, and the Expedition 16 crew will include members from all five space agencies forming the ISS partnership. ISS was also the destination of the first four space tourists.

    The ISS is the largest, most complex international scientific project in history and our largest adventure into space to date. When completed around 2010, the ISS will be comprised of more than 100 major components carried aloft during 88 space flights to assemble the space station. The ISS mission is:

    to conduct basic and applied research to support human exploration of space, and

    to take advantage of the space environment as a laboratory for research -- scientific, technological, and commercial.

    Boeing's Role:

    As the prime contractor, responsible for design, development, construction and integration of the ISS.

    Directs a national industry team comprising most major U.S. aerospace companies, hundreds of small contractors, and Boeing itself.

    Integrates the work of participants from the 15 countries that have joined the U.S. to form the ISS team

    Built all of the major U.S. elements of the ISS.

    Assists NASA in operating the orbital outpost.

    Oversees thousands of subcontractors around the globe.

    Prepares every ISS U.S. component for space flight at the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, FL.

    Earned six consecutive 100 percent award fee score for on-orbit performance from NASA.

    At completion:

    The ISS will be about four times as large as the Russian space station Mir, and about five times as large as the U.S. Skylab.

    The ISS solar array surface will be large enough to cover the U.S. Senate Chamber more than three times over.

    The ISS will manage 20 times as many signals as the Space Shuttle.

    Boeing continues to play an integral part in the construction of the ISS, the most complex venture ever attempted in space.

    In the early 1980s, NASA planned Space Station Freedom as a counterpart to the Soviet Salyut and Mir space stations. It never left the drawing board, and with the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War it was cancelled. The end of the Space race prompted the U.S. administration officials to start negotiations with international partners Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada in the early 1990s, in order to build a truly international space station. This project was first announced in 1993 and was called Space Station Alpha.[3] It was planned to combine the proposed space stations of all participating space agencies: NASA's Space Station Freedom, Russia's Mir-2 (the successor to the Mir space station, the core of which is now ISS Zvezda) and ESA's Columbus that was planned to be a stand-alone spacelab.

    Throughout the 1990s, construction delays hit the project, budget projections were heavily revised and the ISS structure was modified frequently. The ISS has been, as of today, far more expensive than originally anticipated. The ESA estimates the overall cost from the start of the project in the late 1980s to the prospective end in 2016 to be in the region of $130 billion (€100 billion).[4]

    The first section, the Zarya Functional Cargo Block, was put in orbit in November 1998 on a Russian Proton rocket. Two further pieces (the Unity Module and Zvezda service module) were added before the first crew, Expedition 1, was sent. Expedition 1 docked to the ISS on November 2, 2000, and consisted of U.S. astronaut William Shepherd and two Russian cosmonauts, Yuri Gidzenko, and Sergei Krikalev.

    Columbia disaster and consequences

    After the breakup of Columbia on February 1, 2003, and the subsequent two and a half year suspension of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, followed by problems with resuming flight operations in 2005, there was some uncertainty over the future of the ISS until 2006.

    The Space Shuttle Program resumed flight on July 26, 2005 with the STS-114 mission of Discovery. This mission to the ISS was intended both to test new safety measures implemented since the Columbia disaster, and to deliver supplies to the station. Although the mission succeeded safely, it was not without risk; foam was shed by the external tank, leading NASA to announce future missions would be grounded until this issue was resolved.

    Between the Columbia disaster and the resumption of Shuttle launches crew exchanges were carried out solely using the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Starting with Expedition 7, two-astronaut caretaker crews were launched, instead of the previous crews of three. Because the ISS had not been visited by a shuttle for an extended period, a larger than planned amount of waste accumulated, temporarily hindering station operations in 2004. However Progress transports and the STS-114 shuttle flight took care of this problem.

    ISS construction is now far behind the original planned schedule for completion in 2004 or 2005. This is mainly due to the halting of all NASA Shuttle flights following the Columbia disaster in early 2003 (although there had been prior delays due partly to Shuttle problems, and partly to delays stemming from the Russian space agency's budget constraints). During the shuttle standdown construction of the ISS was halted and the science conducted aboard was limited due to the crew size of two.

    As of the beginning of 2006 many changes have been made to the originally planned ISS, even before the Columbia disaster. Modules and other structures have been canceled or replaced and the number of Shuttle flights to the ISS has been reduced from previously planned numbers. Still, the newest ISS Shuttle launch manifest and the current ISS design scheme reveal that more than 80% of the hardware planned to be part of the ISS in the late 90s, is still planned to be orbited to the ISS by its scheduled completion date in 2010.

    In March 2006 a meeting of the heads of the five participating space agencies accepted the new ISS construction schedule that plans to complete the ISS by 2010.[5] A crew of six is expected to be established in 2009, after the Shuttle's next 12 construction flights following the second Return to Flight mission STS-121. Requirements for stepping up the crew size include enhanced environmental support on the ISS, a second Soyuz permanently docked on the station to function as a second 'lifeboat', more frequent Progress flights to provide double the amount of consumables, more fuel for orbit raising maneuvers, and a sufficient supply line of experimental equipment.

    Current status

    After the successful completion of two Return to Flight missions, ISS assembly resumed with the launch of STS-115 on September 9, 2006. On December 9, 2006 STS-116 lifted off for the second Space Shuttle assembly mission since the Columbia disaster. It took with it the first Swedish astronaut, Christer Fuglesang. EVAs conducted by Fuglesang and other members of the STS-116 crew upgraded the electrical system of the space station. Station power is now supplied for the first time from solar arrays attached to the permanent truss struct

    The space station is located in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of approximately 360 km (220 miles), a type of orbit usually termed low Earth orbit (The actual height varies over time by several kilometers due to atmospheric drag and reboosts). It orbits Earth in a period of about 92 minutes; by November 2006 it had completed more than 45,500 orbits since launch of the Zarya module on November 20, 1998.

    The ISS, when completed, will be essentially made of a set of communicating pressurized modules connected to a truss, on which are attached four large pairs of photovoltaic modules. The pressurized modules and the truss will be perpendicular: the truss spanning from starboard to port and the habitable zone extending on the aft-forward axis. Although during the construction the station attitude may vary, when all four photovoltaic modules are in their definitive position the aft-forward axis will be parallel to the velocity vector.[6]

    A total of 10 main pressurized modules (Zarya, Zvezda, Destiny, Unity Module -also called Node 1-, Node 2, Node 3, Columbus, Kibo, MLM and the RM) are currently scheduled to be part of the ISS by its completion date in 2010.[7] A number of smaller pressurized sections will be adjunct to them (Soyuz spacecrafts (permanently 2 as lifeboats - 6 months rotations), Progress transporters (2 or more), the Quest and Pirs Airlocks, as well as periodically the MPLM, the ATV and the HTV).

    The source of electrical power for the ISS is the sun: light is converted into electricity through the use of solar panels. Before assembly flight 4A (shuttle mission STS-97, November 30, 2000) the only power source was the Russian solar panels attached to the Zarya and Zvezda modules: the Russian segment of the station uses 28 volts dc (like the Shuttle). In the rest of the station, electricity is provided by the solar panels attached to the truss at a voltage ranging from 130 to 180 volts dc. The power is then stabilized and distributed at 160 volts dc and then converted to the user-required 124 volts dc. Power can be shared between the two segments of the station using converters, and this feature is essential since the cancellation of the Russian Science Power Platform: the Russian segment will depend on the U.S. built solar arrays for power supply.[8]

    Using a high-voltage (130 to 160 volts) distribution line in the so-called U.S. part of the station led to smaller power lines and thus weight savings


    The ISS Environmental Control and Life Support System provides or controls elements such as atmospheric pressure, oxygen levels, water, and fire extinguishing, among other things. The highest priority for the life support system is the ISS atmosphere, but the system also collects, processes, and stores water and waste used and produced by the crew. For example, the system recycles fluid from the sink, shower, urine, and condensation. Activated charcoal filters are the primary method for removing byproducts of human metabolism from the air. [9]

    Currently, the ISS consists of only four main pressurized modules; two Russian modules Zarya and Zvezda and two US modules Destiny and Node 1. Zarya was the first module launched by a Proton rocket in November 1998, followed by a shuttle mission that connected Zarya with Node 1, the first of three node modules, 2 weeks after Zarya had been launched. This bare 2-module core of the ISS remained unmanned for the next one and a half years, until in July 2000 the Russian module Zvezda was added, allowing a minimum crew of two astronauts or cosmonauts to be on the ISS permanently.

    Since 2000, the only main pressurized module delivered to the ISS was the Destiny Laboratory Module by STS-98 in 2001. The US Lab was also the first science module delivered to the ISS, whereas Zarya provides electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance functions and Zvezda provides living quarters, a life support system, a communication system, electrical power distribution, a data processing system, a flight control system, and a propulsion system. Node 1's primary function is to link different modules together, however fluids, environmental control and life support systems, electrical and data systems are also routed through Node 1 to supply work and living areas of the station.

    Other pressurized sections of the current configuration of the ISS are the Quest Airlock and the Pirs Airlock. Soyuz spacecraft and Progress spacecraft docked to the ISS also extend the pressurized volume. At least one Soyuz spacecraft has to stay docked permanently as a 'lifeboat' and is replaced every six months by a new Soyuz as part of crew rotation.

    Although not permanently docked with the ISS, a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) forms part of the ISS during Shuttle missions that include the MPLM. The MPLM is attached to Node 1 and is used for resupply and logistics flights

    Node 2 — 2007

    As of March 2006, nearly all already built pressurized modules are planned to be launched by the Space Shuttle after return to flight with STS-121 in July 2006. If the current Shuttle launch sequence is not disrupted materially, Node 2 will be launched in the second quarter of 2007 by STS-120. Node 2 was built by the Italian Space Agency, however its ownership has been already transferred to NASA as part of a bartering agreement between NASA and ESA.[10] Node 2 will contain eight racks that provide air, electrical power, water and other systems essential to support life on the spacecraft and is scheduled to be the hub for the Columbus module and Kibo.

    [edit] Columbus Laboratory Module — 2007

    The next Shuttle flight after Node 2 is scheduled to bring the European module Columbus to the ISS. Columbus will be the second module mainly dedicated to science on the ISS, including the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL), the European Physiology Modules (EPM), the Biolab, the European Drawer Rack (EDR) and various storage racks.

    [edit] Japanese Experiment Module — 2008/2009

    The Japanese Experiment Module (also known as JEM or "Kibo") is the next pressurized module on the schedule. It consists of two pressurized sections and one exposed facility. Three shuttle flights are needed to bring the Kibo laboratory into orbit. The pressurized sections are scheduled to fly in the second half of 2008 and in the first half of 2009. Kibo will be mounted on the Node 2, on the opposite side to the Columbus module.

    [edit] Multipurpose Laboratory Module — 2009

    The Russian space agency has announced that the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) is scheduled to be launched by a Proton rocket in 2009. The MLM is the main Russian science module, and depending on its actual launch date the third or fourth science module to be launched to the ISS. It will be equipped with an altitude control system that can be used as a backup by the ISS and will be docked onto either the Zarya control module side docking port or the Zvezda docking port. The European Robotic Arm will be launched together with MLM, mated on its surface for a later deployment in space, according to an agreement signed in October 2005 between ESA and Roskosmos.

    [edit] Node 3 and Cupola — 2010

    Node 3 is currently scheduled for the beginning of 2010 on the next to last Shuttle flight. Like Node 2, Node 3 was built in Italy by the Italian Space Agency, but is owned by NASA. It will be used as a storage compartment as its original purpose to be a hub for the Habitation Module as well as the Crew Return Vehicle, is no longer relevant - both items were cancelled in 2001. One of the curiosities of the ISS, the Cupola 'space window' is currently scheduled to be flown together with Node 3. ESA has finished construction and is storing the Cupola until its flight with Node 3.

    [edit] Russian Research Module — 2010 or later

    NASA's ISS schedule still includes one Russian Research Module (RM) as part of the ISS that may be docked to either Zvezda or Zarya and is rumoured to fly to the ISS at some point after 2010 or later on a Russian Proton rocket. Construction on this module has not yet begun, which casts doubt on its actual delivery to the ISS, and the module is listed as being "under review". [7]

    [edit] Unpressurised elements

    There is also a large unpressurised truss system partially in place that will eventually support the prominent solar arrays, as well as external experiments like the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

    [edit] Cancelled elements

    Centrifuge Accommodations Module - would have been attached to Node 2

    Universal Docking Module - replaced by Multipurpose Laboratory Module

    Docking and Stowage Module - replaced by Multipurpose Laboratory Module

    Habitation Module [11]

    Crew Return Vehicle (CRV)

    Interim Control Module - no need to replace Zvezda (in storage ready to launch at short notice if required)

    ISS Propulsion Module - no need to replace Zvezda

    Science Power Platform - power will be provided to the Russian segments partly by the US solar cell platforms

    Space Shuttle - resupply vehicle, assembly and logistics flights and crew rotation (to be phased out in 2010)

    Soyuz spacecraft - crew rotation and emergency evacuation, replaced every 6 months

    Progress spacecraft - resupply vehicle

    [edit] Planned

    European (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) ISS resupply spacecraft (scheduled for July 2007)[7]

    Japanese (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) resupply vehicle for Kibo module (scheduled for 2009)

    Orion possible crew rotation and as resupply transporter (officially scheduled for 2014)

    [edit] Proposed

    SpaceX Dragon for NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (Scheduled for 2009)

    Rocketplane Kistler K-1 Vehicle for NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (Scheduled for 2009)

    Russian Space Shuttle Kliper for possible crew rotation and as resupply transporter (scheduled for 2012)

    Crew Space Transportation System Soyuz-derived European-Russian crew rotation and resupply spacecraft (scheduled for 2014)

    [edit] Current assembled components

    Building the ISS requires more than 40 assembly flights. Of these flights, currently 33 are planned to be Space Shuttle flights, with 20 ISS-shuttle flights currently flown and 13 more planned between 2007 and 2010. Other assembly flights consist of modules lifted by the Russian Proton rocket or in the case of the Pirs Airlock by a Soyuz rocket.

    In addition to the assembly and utilization flights, approximately 30 Progress spacecraft flights are required to provide logistics until 2010. Experimental equipment, fuel and consumables are and will be delivered by all vehicles visiting the ISS: the Shuttle, the Russian Progress, the European ATV (prospectively from May 2007 onwards) and the Japanese HTV.

    When assembly is complete, the ISS will have a pressurized volume of approximately 1,000 cubic meters, a mass of approximately 400,000 kilograms, approximately 100 kilowatts of power output, a truss 108.4 meters long, modules 74 meters long, and a crew of six.

    As of December 2006 the station consists of several modules and elements:

    Element Flight Launch Vehicle Launch date Length

    (m) Diameter

    (m) Mass


    Zarya FGB 1A/R Proton rocket 20 November 1998 12.6 4.1 19,323

    Unity Node 1 2A - STS-88 Endeavour 4 December 1998 5.49 4.57 11,612

    Zvezda Service Module 1R Proton rocket 12 July 2000 13.1 4.15 19,050

    Z1 Truss 3A - STS-92 Discovery 11 October 2000 4.9 4.2 8,755

    P6 Truss - Solar Array* 4A - STS-97 Endeavour 30 November 2000 73.2 10.7 15,824

    Destiny 5A - STS-98 Atlantis 7 February 2001 8.53 4.27 14,515

    Canadarm2 6A - STS-100 Endeavour 19 April 2001 17.6 0.35 4,899

    Joint Airlock - Quest Airlock 7A - STS-104 Atlantis 12 July 2001 5.5 4.0 6,064

    Docking Compartment - Pirs Airlock 4R Soyuz rocket 14 September 2001 4.1 2.6 3,900

    S0 Truss 8A - STS-110 Atlantis 8 April 2002 13.4 4.6 13,971

    Mobile Base System for Canadarm2 UF-2 - STS-111 Endeavour 5 June 2002 5.7 2.9 1,450

    S1 Truss 9A - STS-112 Atlantis 7 October 2002 13.7 4.6 14,124

    P1 Truss 11A - STS-113 Endeavour 24 November 2002 13.7 4.6 14,003

    External Stowage Platform (ESP-2) LF1 - STS-114 Discovery 26 July 2005 4.9 3.65 2,676

    P3/P4 Truss - Solar Array 12A - STS-115 Atlantis 9 September 2006 73.2 10.7 15,824

    P5 Truss

    The legal structure that regulates the space station is multi-layered. The primary layer establishing obligations and rights between the ISS partners is the Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), an international treaty signed on January 28, 1998 by fifteen governments involved in the Space Station project: the United States, Canada, Japan, the Russian Federation, and eleven Member States of the European Space Agency (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). Article 1 outlines its purpose:

    This Agreement is a long term international co-operative framework on the basis of genuine partnership, for the detailed design, development, operation, and utilisation of a permanently inhabited civil Space Station for peaceful purposes, in accordance with international law.[12]

    The IGA sets the stage for a second layer of agreements between the partners referred to as 'Memoranda of Understanding' (MOUs), of which four exist between NASA and each of the four other partners. There are no MOUs between ESA, Roskosmos, CSA and JAXA due to the fact that NASA is the designated manager of the ISS. The MOUs are used to describe the roles and responsibilities of the partners in more detail.

    A third layer consists of bartered contractual agreements or the trading of the partners' rights and duties, including the 2005 commercial framework agreement between NASA and Roskosmos that sets forth the terms and conditions under which NASA purchases seats on Soyuz crew transporters and cargo capacity on unmanned Progress transporters.

    A fourth legal layer of agreements implements and supplements the four MOUs further. Notably among them is the ISS code of conduct, setting out criminal jurisdiction, anti-harassment and certain other behavior rules for ISS crewmembers.[13]

    There is a fixed percentage of ownership for the whole space station. Rather Article 5 of the IGA sets forth that each partner shall retain jurisdiction and control over the elements it registers and over personnel in or on the Space Station who are its nationals.[12] Therefore, for each ISS module only one partner retains sole ownership. Still, the agreements to use the space station facilities are more complex.

    The three planned Russian segments Zvezda, the Multipurpose Laboratory Module and the Russian Research Modules are made and owned by Russia which, as of today, also retains its current and prospective usage (Zarya, although constructed and launched by Russia, has been paid for and is officially owned by NASA). In order to use the Russian parts of the station, the partners use bilateral agreements (third and fourth layer of the above outlined legal structure). The rest of the station, (the U.S., the European and Japanese pressurized modules as well as the truss and solar panel structure and the two robotic arms) has been agreed to be utilized as follows (% refers to time that each structure may be used by each partner):

    (1) Columbus: 51% for ESA, 49% for NASA and CSA (CSA has agreed with NASA to use 2.3% of all non-Russian ISS structure)

    (2) Kibo: 51% for JAXA, 49% for NASA and CSA (2.3%)

    (3) Destiny Lab: 100% for NASA and CSA (2.3%) as well as 100% of the truss payload accommodation

    (4) Crew time and power from the solar panel structure, as well as rights to purchase supporting services (upload/download and communication services) 76.6% for NASA, 12.8% for JAXA, 8.3% for ESA and 2.3% for CSA

    The most cited figure of an estimate of overall costs of the ISS is 100 billion (very often cited as USD; ESA, the only agency actually stating potential overall costs on its website, estimates €100 billion[4]). Giving a precise cost estimate for the ISS is, however, not straightforward; it is, for instance, hard to determine which costs should actually be contributed to the ISS program or how the Russian contribution should be measured, as the Russian space agency runs at considerably lower USD costs than the other partners.

    The overall majority of costs for NASA are incurred by flight operations and expenses for the overall management of the ISS. Costs for initially building the U.S. portion of the ISS modules and external structure on the ground and construction in space as well as crew and supply flights to the ISS do account for far less than the general operating costs (see annual budget allocation below).

    NASA does not include the basic Space Shuttle program costs in the expenses incurred for the ISS program, despite the fact that the Space Shuttle has been nearly exclusively used for ISS construction and supply flights since December 1998.

    NASA's 2007 budget request lists costs for the ISS (without Shuttle costs) as $25.6 billion for the years 1994 to 2005.[14] For each of 2005 and 2006 about $1.7 to 1.8 billion are allocated to the ISS program. The annual expenses will increase until 2010 when they will reach $2.3 billion and should then stay at the same level, however inflation-adjusted, until 2016, the defined end of the program. NASA has allocated between $300 and 500 million for program shutdown costs in 2017.

    Only costs for mission and mission integration and launch site processing for the 33 ISS-related Shuttle flights are included in NASA's ISS program costs. Basic costs of the Shuttle program are, as mentioned above, not considered part of the overall ISS costs by NASA, because the Shuttle program is considered an independent program aside from the ISS. Since December 1998 the Shuttle has however been used nearly exclusively for ISS flights (since the first ISS flight in December 1998 until December 2006 only 5 flights out of 25 flights have not been to the ISS and only the planned Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission (see STS-125) in 2008 will not be ISS-related out of 14 planned missions until the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2010).

    Shuttle program costs during ISS operations from 1999 to 2005 (disregarding the first ISS flight in December 1998) have amounted to approximately $24 billion (1999: $3,028.0 million, 2000: $3,011.2 million, 2001: $3,125.7 million, 2002: $3,278.8 million, 2003: $3,252.8 million, 2004: $3,945.0 million, 2005: $4,319.2 million). In order to derive the ISS-related costs, expenses for non-ISS flights need to be subtracted, which amount to 20% of the total or about $5 billion. For the years 2006-2011 NASA projects another $20.5 billion in Space Shuttle program costs (2006: $4,777.5 million, 2007: $4,056.7 million, 2008: $4,087.3 million, 2009: $3,794.8 million, 2010: $3,651.1 million and 2011: $146.7 million). If the Hubble servicing mission is excluded from those costs, ISS-related costs will be approximately $19 billion for Shuttle flights from 2006 until 2011. In total, ISS-related Space Shuttle program costs will therefore be approximately $38 billion.

    [edit] Overall ISS costs for NASA

    Assuming NASA's projections of average costs of $2.5 billion from 2011 to 2016 and the end of spending money on the ISS in 2017 (about $300-500 million) after shutdown in 2016 are correct, the overall ISS project costs for NASA from the announcement of the program in 1993 to its end will be about $53 billion (25.6 billion for the years 1994-2005 and about 27 to 28 billion for the years 2006-2017).

    There have also been considerable costs for designing Space Station Freedom in the 1980s and early 1990s, before the ISS program started in 1993. Plans of Space Station Freedom were reused for the International Space Station.

    To sum up, although the actual costs NASA views as connected to the ISS are only half of the $100 billion figure often cited in the media, if combined with basic program costs for the Shuttle and the design of the ISS' precursor project Space Station Freedom, the costs reach $100 billion for NASA alone.

    [edit] ESA

    ESA calculates that its contribution over the 30 year lifetime of the project will be €8 billion.[16] The costs for the Columbus Laboratory total more than €1 billion already, costs for ATV development total several hundred million and considering that each Ariane 5 launch costs around €150 million, each ATV launch will incur considerable costs as well. In addition ESA has constructed a ground control station in the South of Germany in order to control the Columbus Laboratory.

    [edit] JAXA

    The development of the Kibo Laboratory, JAXA's main contribution to the ISS, has cost about 325 billion yen (about $2.8 billion)[17] In the year 2005, JAXA allocated about 40 billion yen (about 350 million USD) to the ISS program.[18] The annual running costs for Kibo will total around $350 to 400 million. In addition JAXA has committed itself to develop and launch the HTV-Transporter, for which development costs total nearly $1 billion. In total, over the 24 year lifespan of the ISS program JAXA will contribute well over $10 billion to the ISS program.

    [edit] Roskosmos

    A considerable part of the Russian Space Agency's budget is used for the ISS. Since 1998 there have been over two dozen Soyuz and Progress flights, the primary crew and cargo transporters since 2003. The question, how much Russia spends on the station, measured in USD, is, however, not easy to answer. The two modules currently in orbit are derivatives of the Mir program and therefore development costs are much lower than for other modules; in addition, the exchange rate between ruble and USD is not adequately giving a real comparison to what the costs for Russia really are.

    The $20 million each space tourist has paid for an available seat on a Soyuz to the ISS is only offsetting a very small part of Russia's financial contribution to the ISS.

    [edit] CSA

    Canada, whose main contribution to the ISS is the Canadarm2, estimates that through the last 20 years it has contributed about C$1.4 billion to the ISS.[19]

    There are many critics of the ISS, especially with regard to the biggest partner, NASA. These critics view the project as a waste of both time and American tax money, inhibiting progress on more useful projects. For instance, critics argue that the widely quoted estimate of US$100 billion lifetime cost could pay for dozens of unmanned scientific missions, that it could be used for other space exploration, that it could be better spent on problems on Earth, or that it would be better not to spend the taxes.[20][21]

    Some critics argue that very little serious scientific research was ever convincingly planned for the ISS.[22] They note that actual research has been trivial even compared to low expectations, although the ISS has been in orbit since 1998 and occupied since 2000. They point out that the scientific merit of experiments conducted on the shuttle and on other space stations have been negligible compared to most other funded science in space or on the ground. Other critics suppose that the ISS could accommodate important research, and believe that the cancellation of ambitious science modules, such as the Centrifuge Accommodations Module, are unwarranted. They say that the planned ISS structure meets few of the scientific objectives of the station proposed in the 1990s.

    Two technical aspects of the ISS's design have been heavily criticized:

    It requires too much maintenance, and in particular too much maintenance by risky, expensive EVAs;[23]

    Its orbit is too highly inclined, meaning American launches need to carry more fuel.[24]

    In general, the most economical orbits to reach are equatorial orbits reached from equatorial launch sites, due to the rotation of the Earth.[24] The choice of the ISS's inclination arose from the political realities of the American desire to heavily involve Russia, as the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is at a high latitude. Russia's involvement, in turn, saved the space station from abandonment after Columbia disintegrated in 2003.

    In response to some of these criticisms, advocates of manned space exploration say that criticism of the ISS project is short-sighted, and that manned space research and exploration have produced billions of dollars' worth of tangible benefits to people on Earth. By some estimates, the indirect economic return from spin-offs of human space exploration has been many times the initial public investment.[25] However, critics argue that these estimates assume rather than conclude a good ratio of return on NASA's spending. Another study concluded that the NASA's rate of return from spinoffs is actually very low, except for aeronautics work that has led to aircraft sales.[26]

    Critics also say that NASA is often casually credited with "spin-offs" (such as Velcro and portable computers) that were developed independently for other reasons.[27] NASA maintains a list of spinoffs from the construction of the ISS, as well as from work performed on the ISS.[28] However, NASA's official list is much narrower and more arcane than dramatic narratives of billions of dollars of spinoffs.

    It is therefore debatable whether the ISS, as distinct from the wider space program, will be a major contributor to society. Some advocates argue that apart from its scientific value (or lack thereof), it is an important example of international cooperation.[29] Others claim that the ISS is an asset that, if properly leveraged, could allow more economical manned Lunar and Mars missions.[30] Either way, advocates argue that it misses the point to expect a hard financial return from the ISS; rather, it is intended as part of a general expansion of spaceflight capabilities.

    [edit] Expeditions

    All permanent station crews are named "Expedition N", where N is sequentially increased after each expedition. Expeditions have an average duration of half a year. Taxi visitors and space tourists are not counted as Expedition members.

    Expedition Crew

    (commander in italics) Patch Launch date Flight up Landing date Flight down Duration


    Expedition 1 William Shepherd - U.S.A.

    Yuri Gidzenko - Russia

    Sergei Krikalev - Russia October 31, 2000

    07:52:47 UTC Soyuz TM-31 March 21, 2001

    07:33:06 UTC STS-102 140.98

    Expedition 2 Yuri Usachev - Russia

    Susan Helms - U.S.A.

    James Voss - U.S.A. March 8, 2001

    11:42:09 UTC STS-102 August 22, 2001

    19:24:06 UTC STS-105 167.28

    Expedition 3 Frank L. Culbertson - U.S.A.

    Vladimir N. Dezhurov - Russia

    Mikhail Tyurin - Russia August 10, 2001

    21:10:15 UTC STS-105 December 17, 2001

    17:56:13 UTC STS-108 128.86

    Expedition 4 Yury Onufrienko - Russia

    Dan Bursch - U.S.A.

    Carl Walz - U.S.A. December 5, 2001

    22:19:28 UTC STS-108 June 19, 2002

    09:57:41 UTC STS-111 195.82

    Expedition 5 Valery Korzun - Russia

    Sergei Treschev - Russia

    Peggy Whitson - U.S.A. June 5, 2002

    21:22:49 UTC STS-111 December 7, 2002

    19:37:12 UTC STS-113 184.93

    Expedition 6 Kenneth Bowersox - U.S.A.

    Nikolai Budarin - Russia

    Donald Pettit - U.S.A. November 24, 2002

    00:49:47 UTC STS-113 May 4, 2003

    02:04:25 UTC Soyuz TMA-1 161.05

    Expedition 7 Yuri Malenchenko - Russia

    Edward Lu - U.S.A. April 26, 2003

    03:53:52 UTC Soyuz TMA-2 October 28, 2003

    02:40:20 UTC Soyuz TMA-2 184.93

    Expedition 8 Michael Foale - U.S.A.

    Alexander Kaleri - Russia October 18, 2003

    05:38:03 UTC Soyuz TMA-3 April 30, 2004

    00:11:15 UTC Soyuz TMA-3 194.77

    Expedition 9 Gennady Padalka - Russia

    Michael Fincke - U.S.A. April 19, 2004

    03:19:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-4 October 24, 2004

    00:32:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-4 185.66

    Expedition 10 Leroy Chiao - U.S.A.

    Salizhan Sharipov - Russia October 14, 2004

    03:06 UTC Soyuz TMA-5 April 24, 2005

    22:08:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-5 192.79

    Expedition 11 Sergei Krikalev - Russia

    John L. Phillips - U.S.A. April 15, 2005

    00:46:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-6

    October 11, 2005

    01:09:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-6 179.02

    Expedition 12 William McArthur - U.S.A.

    Valery Tokarev - Russia October 1, 2005

    03:54:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-7

    April 8, 2006

    23:48:00 UTC Soyuz TMA-7 189.01

    Expedition 13 Pavel Vinogradov - Russia

    Jeffrey Williams - U.S.A.

    Thomas Reiter - Germany March 30, 2006

    02:30 UTC (Soyuz)

    July 4, 2006

    18:38 UTC (STS) Soyuz TMA-8

    STS-121 (Reiter) September 28, 2006

    01:13 UTC (Soyuz)

    December 21, 2006

    22:32 UTC (STS) Soyuz TMA-8

    STS-116 (Reiter) 182.65



    Expedition 14 Michael Lopez-Alegria - U.S.A.

    Mikhail Tyurin - Russia

    Sunita Williams - U.S.A. September 18, 2006

    04:09 UTC (Soyuz)

    December 10, 2006

    01:47 (STS) Soyuz TMA-9

    STS-116 (Williams) Planned: April 20, 2007 (Soyuz)

    July 11, 2007 (STS) Soyuz TMA-9

    STS-118 (Williams) ~214

    Expedition 15 Fyodor Yurchikhin - Russia

    Clayton Anderson - U.S.A.

    Oleg Kotov - Russia

    Daniel Tani - U.S.A.[31]

    Scheduled for April 7, 2007–October 13, 2007

    Expedition 16 Peggy Whitson - U.S.A.

    Yuri Malenchenko - Russia

    Léopold Eyharts - France

    Garrett Reisman - U.S.A. Scheduled for October 2, 2007–April 19, 2008

    The International Space Station is the most-visited spacecraft in the history of space flight. As of September 11, 2006, it has had 159 (non-distinct) visitors. Mir had 137 (non-distinct) visitors (See Space station). The number of distinct visitors of the ISS is 124 (see list of International Space Station visitors).

    Source(s): some web and more part own and also visit my favourite web site
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  • 1 decade ago

    The international space station maintains orbit around the Earth without the need of an engine to gain any momentum during orbit. It is like the moon orbiting the earth. It will remain always orbiting the earth due to its own momentum stored in its inertia. Although the space station is provisioned with a propulsive engines that are used when necessary, for example when cargo and equipment are transported onboard the station, or when additional men or women transported to the station which results in change of the total mass and weight of the space station, which may not be negligible requiring thereby additional momentum force, it could cause a shift in its fixed orbit. For such situation, the station readjusts its orbit momentum by using these propulsive elements built in as an integral part of the space station. These elements are similar to those found in the astrounout's space suits that are used to provide forward or backward thrust or thrust in any direction desired when space walk is deemed necessary. Now, the electrical power that the space station uses is provided from the solar plates or cells that converts heat from the sun and generates electrical power. They cannot use turbines or continuously running engines to feed the station with the electrical power. The technology of converting heat energy from solar cells into electrical energy has been used for long time and has been developed quite efficiently to support the international space station of the electrical power whether to feed its computers or other equipment used inside the station. Of course the amount of power needed is engineered when the space station was built.

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  • 4 years ago

    Sending the crew out there is the expensive part. Extremely expensive. You have to go all the way to the Moon (accelerate the stuff and the people to 11 km/s), then land on the Moon (braking against 1/6 gravity is not free), take off from the Moon again (some of the people would insist on being brought back alive) which takes more fuel, then arrive back at Earth at 25,000 mph (11 km/s) and... hope for the best. In comparison, the shuttle only needs to reach a little less than 8 km/s to achieve orbit. Drop off the material (which, being in the cargo hold of the shuttle, is already in the proper orbit) and the people. Those who insist on coming back, hop back into the shuttle which simply needs to brake a bit, causing it to drop into the atmosphere at a safer speed of 17,000 mph. Also, on the Moon, you do not get any of the benefits of being in orbit (e.g., microgravity experiments). On the space spation, the "lifeboat" is a simple Soyouz capsule. You hop in, separate, brake a bit... and you fall back to Earth. From the Moon, you'd need a much more elaborate space vehicle as a "lifeboat". Of course, if YOU have the money to build a Moon base, go right ahead.

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  • Sula
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    details international space station

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  • 3 years ago


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    4 years ago

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  • goring
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Details are Classified. (there is so much terrorism around these days). sensitive information cannot be given on the internet.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Why not do a Google search??

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  • 6 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    Your question is not very clear, could you elaborate a bit please?

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