Stories tagged ISS


International Space Station: To see a really big version of this click on the word NASA (in red).
International Space Station: To see a really big version of this click on the word NASA (in red).Courtesy NASA

Two space vehicles joined Dec. 1998

The Russian-built Zarya module and the U.S.-built Node 1, also called Unity, were connected together ten years ago. Thus began one of the greatest international, technological, political, and engineering achievements in human history.

Ten years later, the station's mass has expanded to more than 627,000 pounds, and its interior volume is more than 25,000 cubic feet, comparable to the size of a five-bedroom house. Since Zarya's launch, there have been 29 additional construction flights to the station: 27 aboard the space shuttle and two additional Russian launches. NASA

Learn more about the space station's past and future

Future launch dates and additions
Computer rendering of future ISS assembly
International Space Station assembly sequence and componant descriptions
Latest news from NASA International Space Station webpage

Have you heard about the problem on the International Space Station? The only toilet on board is plugged and astronauts have to come up with alternative ways of relieving themselves. You can read more about it right here.


Dextre robot addition to ISS
Dextre robot addition to ISSCourtesy Canadian Space Agency

STS-123's 16 day mission

The space shuttle Endeavour's STS-123 crew is on track for a March 11 launch to the space station for a marathon construction flight expected to last about 16 days. The busy construction flight will include five spacewalks to assemble the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robot Dextre, install the first segment of Japan's massive Kibo laboratory, test a shuttle heat shield repair method and deliver spare parts to the ISS. Europe's maiden ISS cargo ship Jules Verne will hover nearby, waiting to deliver its load of cargo.

Japan will add components to the ISS

Japanese astronaut Takao Doi will help deliver the storage room for his country's Kibo laboratory to the ISS for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Japan's Kibo facility consists of a storage pod, a massive pressurized laboratory and an external platform equipped with its own robotic arm.

Canadian Space Agency will assemble a huge robot

Putting together Dextre, a Canadian robot, will be one of the main jobs for the seven Endeavour astronauts. Standing 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide, Dextre has two 7 jointed arms that are each 11 feet long.

Repairing heat shield tiles

When the space shuttle Atlantis flies to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in August, any damage to its space tiles will need to be repaired in space. Waiting for rescue at the space station will not be an option. A practice run of such a repair will be carried out on this mission.

Learn more - 114 page info packet

For a really complete information package describing the STS-123 mission in detail you might check out this 114 page press release (4.4MB, pdf).

An unmanned Russian cargo ship carrying 5000 pounds of supplies, equipment and gifts blasted off Saturday en route to the international space station. The cargo included oxygen, water, food, books, movies, gifts and other personal items for the crew, and snails intended for biological experiments.


Space station: NASA graphic
Space station: NASA graphic

Space station construction to resume.

After a three and a half year hiatus, construction of the International Space Station (ISS) is finally going to continue. One of the largest pieces, a power generating structure, will be attatched to the ISS. Weighing 17.5 tons, the 240 foot solar arrays on the P3P4 truss segment will generate 20 kilowatts. The 11 day mission could begin as early as August 27. Atlantis' crew members have been training for this mission for four and a half years, since before the Columbia tragedy.WMV video link

The ISS is about half finished

The station is nearly halfway through assembly. The next four flights will bring new truss segments, massive structural support beams, to the complex. The new segments will increase the mass of the station by almost 40 tons, the maximum weight of an 18-wheeled semi-truck.
Two of the trusses include huge sets of solar array wings, totaling more than 17,000 square feet. With a wingspan area the size of a national standard hockey rink, the panels will carry 130,000 solar cells. The new segments include giant rotary joints to allow the tips of the station "backbone" to move as the massive panels track the sun. NASA

To construct the station, more than 100 international space flights will have been conducted on five different types of vehicles launched from four different countries. If all goes well the ISS will be completed in 2010.

Read more about the ISS at Wikipedia.