International Space Station


October 25, 2021

The International Space Station (Междунаро́дная косми́ческая ста́нция, МКС), better known as ISS, is currently the only permanently inhabited space station. The first part of the station, the Zarja module, was launched into orbit on November 20, 1998. It has been permanently inhabited since November 2, 2000, when the first permanent crew entered the station. Currently, the crew, which changes every 6 months, consists of 7 members. The station is located in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 400 km. At an average speed of about 7,700 m / s (27,720 km / h), it regularly orbits the Earth with a period of about 92 minutes. In many ways, the ISS represents a merger of previously planned independent stations, the Russian station Mir 2 and the American Freedom. In addition to the Russian and American modules planned for these stations, the European Columbus laboratory module and the Japanese Kibó laboratory module are connected to the station. The International Space Station is a joint project of five space agencies: NASA, Roskosmos, JAXA, CSA and ESA (involving 11 of its members; Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) . The astronauts must speak English and Russian. The Brazilian Space Agency is participating under a special contract with NASA. Similarly, the Italian Space Agency has separate contracts for various activities which it does not carry out as part of the tasks of the European Space Agency for the ISS (of which Italy is also a full participant). The transport of the astronauts to the station and back is provided by transported Russian spacecraft Soyuz and Crew Dragon from the American private company SpaceX. The use of American private ships Starliner is also being prepared. The station is supplied by automatic cargo spacecraft - Russian Progressy, American Cargo Dragons and Cygnus and Japanese HTV. Cosmonauts and supplies used to carry American Space Shuttles to the station, while European automatic ships ATVs and American Dragons. The originally planned life of the ISS was until 2016, in the winter of 2013–2014, financial coverage was ensured by the US government until 2024.


The history of the International Space Station began in 1984, when US President Ronald Reagan announced a plan to build a space station called Freedom. The following years were marked by a delay in the start of construction and financial difficulties. In 1991, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA) joined the construction plan. Russia joined them in 1993 and the station became known as Alpha. The year 1995 can be considered as the beginning of preparations for construction. In the years 1995–98, 9 test connections were made with the Mir space station, during which the connection and exchange of crews were trained. The planned launch of the first Zarja module was again delayed by financial problems, and therefore it was rather paid in full by the American side. On November 20, 1998, the Proton rocket launched with the aforementioned Zarya module from Baikonur. Construction of the ISS has begun. 16 days later, the space shuttle Endeavor met Zarja and attached a Unity module to it in its cargo hold. The Zarja module was originally used to provide telecommunications services and flight control. Later, it should serve primarily as a storage space and container. The Unity module serves as a crossroads of modules. Up to 6 additional modules can be connected to it. Already launched modules were not able to maintain the required path and frequent corrections were necessary. Another planned module was expected - the Russian Zvezda. Again, financial difficulties delayed its launch and thus continued construction. The module was launched until July 12, 2000 and connected to the Zarja module to

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