ISS Turns 10 Print
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 22:09
ImageIn November of 1998, a Russian Proton rocket settled into orbit and deposited the first module of the International Space Station, the Zarya Functional Cargo Block, in space. Two weeks later, The United States added the Unity 'node' module. The image on the left shows both units joined.

In the 10 years since construction began, 14 other countries have contributed including Japan, Canada, Brazil and eleven nations belonging to the European Space Agency.

The tragic destruction of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003 as it attempted to re-enter Earth's atmosphere delayed work on the ISS for two years.

As at June 2008 (image below), the ISS weighs a little over 300,000kg and has a living volume of 350m3

The ISS currently houses has a crew of 3 for around 6 months, but with renovations taking place this month, will virtually double the crew capacity.

Items being installed on the 10th anniversary include a recycling system that will convert sweat and urine into drinking water, an extra bathroom, kitchenette, two bedrooms, an exercise machine and a refigerator (Allowing the crew to enjoy cold drinks for the first time!!)

Once complete, the ISS will have be a two-bath, two-kitchen, five-bedroom home.

In 2001 Dennis Tito became the first space tourist, and turned the ISS into the holiday destination for the rich. $35M will buy you a round trip with a 10-day stay in the station.


Happy Birthday ISS!