Here’s a look at the International Space Station (ISS), a spacecraft built by a partnership of 16 nations: United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The ISS includes three main modules connected by nodes: the US Laboratory Module Destiny, the European Research Laboratory Columbus, and the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo (Hope). Each was launched separately and connected in space by astronauts.
Mass: 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilograms)
Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters)
Solar Array Length: 239 feet (75 meters)
The ISS orbits Earth 16 times a day.
As of June 25, 2021, 241 spacewalks have been conducted for station assembly and maintenance.
November 1998 - A Russian Proton rocket places the first piece, the Zarya module, in orbit.
December 1998 - The space shuttle Endeavour crew, on the STS-88 mission, attaches the Unity module to Zarya initiating the first ISS assembly sequence.
June 1999 - The space shuttle Discovery crew, on mission STS-96, supplies two modules with tools and cranes.
July 2000 - Zvezda, the fifth flight, docks with the ISS to become the third major component of the station.
November 2000 - The first permanent crew, Expedition One, arrives at the station.
November/December 2000 - The space shuttle Endeavour crew, on mission STS-97, installs the first set of US solar arrays on the station and visits Expedition One.
February 2001 - Mission STS-98 delivers the US Destiny Laboratory Module.
March 2001 - STS-102 delivers Expedition Two to the station and brings Expedition One home. The crew also brings Leonardo, the first Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, to the station.
September 16, 2001 - The Russian Docking Compartment, Pirs, arrives at the ISS.
June 2002 - STS-111 delivers the Expedition Five crew and brings the Expedition Four crew home. The crew also brings the Mobile Base System to the orbital outpost.
December 2002 - STS-113 delivers the Expedition Six crew and the P1 Truss.
May 3, 2003 - Expedition Six crew return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-1. Crew members Kenneth Bowersox and Don Pettit are the first American astronauts ever to land in a Soyuz spacecraft.
July 29, 2003 - Marks the 1,000th consecutive day of people living and working aboard the ISS (this is a record for the station, but not for space).
August 10, 2003 - Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko marries his fiancée Ekaterina Dmitriev from space. The bride and groom exchange vows over a hotline set up for the event. Dmitriev stands next to a life-sized picture of Malenchenko.
April 22, 2004 - The second of four gyroscopes that stabilize the orbiting outpost of the ISS fails. NASA officials say this does not pose an immediate threat to the crew. An extra spacewalk will have to be conducted to the fix the electrical component box thought to be at fault.
November 2, 2005 - Fifth anniversary of continuous human presence in space on the ISS.
February 3, 2006 - SuitSat-1, an unmanned space suit containing a radio transmitter is deployed as a part of an ISS spacewalk. The suit is supposed to transmit recorded messages in six languages to school children and amateur radio operators for several days before reentering Earth’s atmosphere and burning up, but it goes silent shortly after its deployment.
March 31, 2006 - Arriving with the crew of Expedition Thirteen is Marcos Pontes, the first Brazilian astronaut. Staying eight days, Pontes conducts scientific experiments before returning to Earth with the crew of Expedition Twelve.
July 7, 2006 - The arrival of Thomas Reiter of Germany via the Space Shuttle Discovery returns the station’s long-duration crew to three for the first time since May 2003 and the Columbia shuttle disaster. Reiter is the first non-US and non-Russian long-duration station crewmember, and he remains onboard during the first part of Expedition Fourteen.
September 9, 2006 - Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the ISS, delivering the P3/P4 truss and its solar wings before undocking September 21 and returning to Earth.
September 20, 2006 - Arriving with the crew of Expedition Fourteen is Anousheh Ansari, an American businesswoman. She spends about eight days conducting experiments and blogging about her experiences before returning to Earth with two of the three members of Expedition Thirteen.
December 2006 - Arrival of Flight Engineer Sunita Williams via space shuttle mission STS-116. Williams replaces Reiter, who returns to Earth with the crew of STS-116.
April 7, 2007 - Charles Simonyi becomes the fifth space tourist when he accompanies the Expedition Fifteen crew to the ISS. He spends 12 days aboard the space station before returning to Earth with the crew of Expedition Fourteen.