It’s an international space station. We have crew members from both the U.S. and Russia and now the United Kingdom with Tim Peake from the U.K… It’s great to see that, on this space station, that we can work across cultures in a very cooperative way.” – Scott Kelly
Since the launch of Zarya on November 20, 1998, five space agencies, Russia(FKA) USA (NASA) Europe (ESA) Japan (JAXA) Canada (CSA), have worked together to build the orbiting science lab.
Mark Your Calendars
From a helium-filled high altitude balloon all the way to the International Space Station, November brings back memories of some great achievements in space history.
November 2, 2000
After launching on October 31, 2000 aboard a Soyuz space craft, an American and Russian crew arrived at the International Space Station. Commander William M. “Bill” Shepherd (NASA) and cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko of Roscosmos began living aboard the ISS, the the longest running manned space station ever.
November 11, 1935
The Explorer II, a high altitude balloon, launched from a canyon in the Black Hills of South Dakota on November 11, 1935 taking a two-man crew to an altitude of 72,395 ft (22,066 meters). The crew, U.S. Army Air Corps Captains Albert W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson, rode inside a sealed, spherical cabin, collecting information about the stratosphere. They also observed and photographed the curvature of the Earth.
Explorer II touched down safely on the same day at 4:13 pm. Albert William Stevens and Orvil Arson Anderson were acclaimed as national heroes.
November 17, 1970
Lunokhod 1 launched on November 10, 1970. After traveling for a week, the spacecraft successfully landed on the Moon in the Sea of Rains on November 17, making it the first lunar rover. Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled robot to move freely across the surface of an astronomical object beyond the Earth.
The last communication session with Lunokhod 1 ended on September 14, 1971. Its final location was unknown until March 17, 2010, when Albert Abdrakhimov found both the lander and the rover.
November 20, 1998
Zarya, the first module of International Space Station, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 81 in Kazakhstan on November 20, 1998. Zarya, a Functional Cargo Block, was originally used to provide electricity, storage, propulsion and guidance during the early stages of construction.
On December 6, 1998, the U.S.-built Unity node was attached to the Russian-built Zarya module by the crew of space shuttle mission STS-88. Today, Zarya is used mostly for storage.
The International Space Station is considered to be one of the most complex scientific and technological endeavors ever undertaken. It is also the largest man-made object built in space.
What happens when the ISS is no longer in service?
At 239 feet long, 356 feet wide and 66 feet high, the International Space Station weighs just under one million pounds. What do you do with one million pounds of space waste?
Photo Source: NASA