Last month Russia announced that it is quitting the ISS (International Space Station). International Space Station is perhaps the biggest example of cooperation of US and Russia at an international level.
Earlier NASA has expected that it would last until 2028, but Russia’s Space Agency Roscosmos conveyed that it would pull out its participation in the ISS by 2020.
The reasons behind the unexpected move can be attributed to the Ukraine crisis and the sanction imposed by US and European Union.
However, ISS is much more than just an orbiting lab. From spacecraft construction to the astronomical arena, it has always served as a wonderful platform for technological advancements and research. This invites us to know more about this scientific observatory.
Have a quick overview through the history of ISS-
- It has been the place for 100 Russian launches.
- It has also served as a spaceport for 37 US space shuttle launches, four Japanese H-II transfer vehicles (HTVs) and five European Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs).
- There have been around 70 missions on Space Shuttles and Soyuz spacecraft have flown to the International Space Station.
- Over 60 unnamed vehicles have docked with ISS.
Here are some interesting facts about ISS to look upon-
- The first mission to the ISS was on November 2, 2000 and since then it has been continuously occupied.
- Operating the International Space Station currently costs $3 billion a year.
- Two private companies namely SpaceX and the Orbital Science Corporation, fly cargo into the ISS.
- ISS is a perfect laboratory for studying every aspect of long term visits to space. It has six laboratories to perform so.
- Columbus Laboratory is the location where scientific experiments are carried out in weightless conditions.
- When the International Space Station was manned in 2001, astronauts and cosmonauts flew the US space shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to and from the space station.
- Russian and the US sections have their own toilets and have separate air conditioning systems; they use vacuum systems to pump the waste out.
- The total length of International Space Station end-to-end is about 109m longer than both a proper football field while its livable space is roughly equal to a five-bedroom house.
- ISS is moving at 17,240 MPH.
- The ISS orbits the earth every 90 min and since its launch it has completed approx. 60,000 orbits and travelled more than 2.4 million kms.
- ISS is the most expensive single object ever built by mankind with an estimated cost of $100bn dollars.
- It is primarily composed of 15 pressurized modules.
- It weighs 420,000kgs (925,000 pounds), which is more than 320 automobiles.
- About 13Km of wire connects the electrical power system on International Space Station.
- 3 million Lines of software code on the ground support 108 million lines of flight software code.