The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.
The ISS program is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.
Here are ten fun facts about the International Space Station:
1. The International Space Station weighs almost 1 million pounds!
2. It cost $100 billion dollars to build!
3. There are 16 countries involved in building and operating the ISS! They are: Canada, Japan, Russia, United States of America, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland United Kingdom and Brazil. All together these countries are called “Partner Nations”.
4. Since 1998 there have been over 200 people from 18 different countries who have lived on board the ISS for periods ranging from 1 week to 6 months!
5. In total there have been over 2000 Spacewalks carried out at the ISS totalling over 1150 hours! That’s equivalent to 47 days.
6. There are currently 6 people living on board the ISS representing 3 different countries. They are: USA, Russia and Japan.
7. 8% of all humans who have ever gone to space have lived on board the ISS.
8. On average it takes 90 minutes for supplies sent up from earth arrive at the ISS. This includes food, water, air, toilet paper and science kits.
9. If you were standing on top of Mount Everest you would need binoculars to see the ISS. However if you were standing on the beach in Florida you wouldn’t need binoculars to see it pass overhead twice a day.
10. Although it orbits 220 miles above Earth at 17500 mph, it Still manages to get hit by debris from time to time. Luckily most pieces are smaller than a grain of rice so no major damage is caused but its something that NASA keeps a close eye on.