International Space Station

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International Space Station

Post by meodingu on Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:13 pm


International Space Station

The International Space Station
Main article: International Space Station program

The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally developed research facility currently being assembled in Low Earth Orbit. On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled to be completed by 2011, with operations continuing until at least 2015.[28] The station can be seen from the Earth with the naked eye, and, as of 2009, is the largest artificial satellite in Earth orbit, with a mass larger than that of any previous space station.

The ISS is operated as a joint project among NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and the European Space Agency (ESA). Ownership and utilization of the space station is set out via several intergovernmental treaties and agreements, with the Russian Federation retaining full ownership of its own modules, and the rest of the station being allocated among the other international partners. The International Space Station relied on the Shuttle fleet for all major construction shipments.

The cost of the station project has been estimated by ESA as €100 billion over a course of 30 years, although cost estimates vary between 35 billion dollars and 160 billion dollars, making the ISS the most expensive object ever constructed.





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