The International Space Station
Since the first flight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961, scientists have been developing new means to reach space and increase time spent there.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a major step forward in gaining knowledge and learning to master this fascinating environment, by enabling astronauts to live and work in space aboard a station expected to be operational for at least 10 years.
The space station is as big as a football pitch, and will require more than 40 flights to assemble around 100 components. To accomplish this unprecedented endeavour, the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe with 11 ESA member countries (including France), have joined forces.
The scientific challenges are enormous, as ISS offers a unique experimental platform for life sciences and materials science, physics, as well as for observation of the Earth and the Universe.
The first ISS element, Russia’s Zarya module, was launched in 1998. Since November 2000, 3 astronauts take turns continuously in the station. ISS' work schedule and its final shape are planned for 2010.
|ISS (International Space Station)|
|Origin||initiative of Ronald Reagan in 1984|
|Status||currently operational and in development|
|Participants||the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe, with 11 member countries of ESA (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland)|
|Objectives||carry out scientific experiments in microgravity|
|Launch date of the 1st module||1998|
|Target date for completion||2010|
Last updated: August 2008
- ATV-CC, operations ATV control centre
- Cadmos, preparing and performing microgravity experiments
- Cardiolab, studying the heart in a microgravity environment
- Cardiomed, monitoring cosmonaut's health in real time
- Declic, the behaviour of fluids in microgravity
- EPM, a payload rack for investigating human physiology under microgravity conditions
- What is weightlessness?
- Animation: some of the stages involved in assembling an orbital laboratory
(according to initial ISS scenario and not including later schedule modifications).
- ISS on ESA website
- ISS on NASA website
- Cadmos website
- Cardiolab on CNES space scientific missions website
- Declic on CNES space scientific missions website
In the news
- EPM on Columbus working like a charm - 18 February 2008
- Launch no earlier than 2 January for Columbus laboratory - 10 December 2007
- Columbus, a laboratory equipped for science - 22 November 2007
- ATV - The European ISS resupply ship - 31 October 2007
- Columbus soon to enter service - 24 October 2007
- Léopold Eyharts will bring Columbus to life - 13 February 2007
- Long-duration ISS mission - 5 July 2006
- Columbus enters home straight before ISS - 17 May 2006
- CRISP 2 flies crickets to the ISS - 10 May 2005