The International Space Station is actually a large spacecraft. It is constantly revolving around the earth in a fixed orbit. It can be said that this station is a place for astronauts to stay in space.
Scientific research is also done at this station. Several countries jointly built the station. Astronauts from those countries also help each other to work on the station.
The International Space Station has many parts. Astronauts assembled these parts in space during construction. The orbit of the space station is about 250 miles above the Earth’s surface. The space station is typically used by NASA to conduct research on living or working in space.
How Long Ago This Space Station Was Built?
The first part of the International Space Station was launched in 1998. It was launched into space by a Russian rocket. Since then, other parts have been slowly added to the space station.
After 2 years the station became fully operational. The first astronaut to man the space station went there on November 2, 2000. Since then people have started living in the space station. Over time many new parts were added to the station. NASA and NASA affiliates around the world completed construction of the space station in 2011.
How Big Is The Space Station?
A 5-bedroom house is bigger than the living space inside the space station. It has two bathrooms, a gym and a huge window overlooking space. 6 people can stay there. The station weighs about a million pounds. The entire station is about the size of a football field with edges. It has laboratories in USA, Russia, Japan and several European countries.
Parts That Are On The Space Station
The space station has many parts. These parts are called modules. The first module contained everything necessary to operate the space station. Those modules also housed astronauts. Again, the modules used to connect different parts of the station to each other are called ‘nodes’. The laboratory is also part of the space station, where astronauts conduct research.
Solar panels are mounted on the side of the space station. Energy is taken from the sun through these panels. Through this, the sunlight is converted into electricity.
Several robotic arms are also attached to the outside of the station. It is with the help of these arms that the space station is built. And with the help of these arms, the astronauts move or spacewalk outside the station and control the work of scientific research.
Meanwhile, the airlock attached to the space station acts much like a door. Astronauts use airlocks to access spacewalks.
The docking port on the space station also functions as a door. Through these ports, any new spacecraft connects to the space station. New crews or visitors to operate spacecraft enter the space station through the docking port. Astronauts usually enter the space station via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The crew of the space station brings various essentials to the station through these ports.
Why Is The Space Station Important?
A space station is a living space for astronauts in orbit. Through this, people have been living in space every day since 2000. Again, the crew conducts their research in the space station’s laboratory. These researches are not possible to do on earth.
On the other hand, scientists are researching what kind of changes occur in people when they are in space. NASA scientists have been researching for a long time how to use a spacecraft for a long time. With the help of the results obtained from these studies, many important works can be done in the future.
Moreover, NASA is planning to send humans to more distant regions of space. The space station will serve as an initial step towards achieving this objective. The results of research conducted from the space station will be used to prepare astronauts for future space journeys.
Text and image courtesy: NASA