The space station is a huge spaceship that is orbiting the Earth. It is floating 240 miles above the Earth. This spacecraft is used as a residence for astronauts. Apart from the six space-crew, this spacecraft also has a guest reception facility in space.
The International Space Station is the result of the combined efforts of 15 countries, including the United States, Japan, and Russia . As part of international consensus, the International Space Station is considered a unique achievement of human civilization. Let’s find out some amazing facts about this International Space Station.
How old is the space station?
The first part of the International Space Station was launched in November 1998. And step by step was further ahead. More parts were added over the next two years before the station was ready for human habitation. The first crew arrived on 2 August 2000. Since then astronauts have started living on the station. Over time more parts have been added to the space station. NASA and its partners around the world completed construction of the space station in 2011.
How big is the space station?
Space station has enough space to accommodate a five-bedroom house or two Boeing 747 jetliners. It is capable of supporting a crew of six and visitors. On Earth, the space station would have weighed about a million pounds. Measured from the ends of its solar array, the station covers the area of a football, including the end zones. These include laboratory modules sourced from the US, Russia, Japan and Europe.
What are the parts of the space station?
Apart from the laboratories where the astronauts conduct scientific research, there are many other parts of the space station. The first Russian modules included the basic systems needed to operate the space station. They also provided accommodation for the crew members. Modules known as “nodes” connect parts of the station to each other.
Solar arrays extend around the space station. This array collects electrical energy from the sun. The arrays are attached to the space station with long trusses. On the truss are radiators that regulate the temperature of the space station.
Robotic arms are placed outside the space station. Robotic arms were used to help build the space station. These arms can also move around when the astronauts go out on spacewalks. Other weapons conduct science experiments.
Astronauts can access the spacewalks through the outward-opening planes. Docking ports allow other spacecraft to connect to the space station. New crews and visitors arrived through the port. Astronauts fly to the Russian Soyuz space station. The docking port is used to deliver robotic spacecraft.
NASA is currently working on plans to explore other worlds. The space station is one of the first steps. NASA will use lessons learned aboard the space station to prepare for more human missions into space than ever before.
The space station is moving very fast
The space station orbits the Earth 16 times a day. Mathematically speaking, the spacecraft is circling the Earth at 28,000 kilometers per hour – 10 times the speed of a bullet fired at Earth.
Physical changes exist
Astronauts on the space station go through various minor to major changes. The feet are damaged and become soft like a newborn baby. Also, so that the bones of the body do not decay due to the lack of gravity, the astronauts of the station also do various physical exercises.
Eating and drinking? the toilet?
When it comes to spaceships, these two questions are on everyone’s mind. How do astronauts eat? And what is the arrangement of the toilet?
The space station has two toilets, which astronauts use when needed. Even astronauts’ urine is filtered to make it drinkable.
Even a small liquid spill could trigger a major accident on the International Space Station. There liquids are drunk from the bag through a straw. Astronauts on the station take food from trays, which are attached to the spacecraft by means of magnets.
The space station is visible from Earth
The space station is the 3rd brightest object from Earth in the night sky, completely visible to the naked eye. The International Space Station is an airplane-like light speeding through the sky. It is best visible in the morning and evening.
Internet access at the space station
All space station occupants have laptops. They can even connect to the internet and communicate with their family or friends. Due to the presence of internet, you have the opportunity to enjoy live TV or movies like me. The space station has a 600 megabit/s internet connection which is expected to increase further in the future.
Why is the space station important?
The space station made possible the continuous presence of humans in space. Humans have been living in space ever since the first crew arrived. The space station’s laboratories allow crew members to conduct research that has not been done elsewhere. This scientific research benefits the people of the world. Even space research is used in everyday life. The results are products known as “spinoffs”. Scientists also study what happens to the body when people live in microgravity for long periods of time. NASA and its partners have learned how to keep a spacecraft operating well. All these lessons will be important for future space exploration.
It is an ideal laboratory
Along with astronauts, there are scientists and researchers in various fields in this spacecraft. Due to this, various experiments are always going on in the International Space Station.
Time changes at the space station
Interestingly, astronauts from the International Space Station return to Earth at relatively young ages. Time passes more slowly there than on Earth due to the extremely fast speed of the spacecraft. But this time a huge number, not so much. After spending 6 months in space, astronauts are only 0.005 seconds shorter than the average person on Earth.
Even simple tasks become difficult
The tasks that are easy on Earth, those tasks on the space station can be said to be difficult. Astronauts have to suffer a lot even in daily tasks like cutting hair. Astronauts cut their hair with clippers attached to a vacuum. Astronauts have to take a lot of precautions in this process. Because even a small hair-like object can disable various filters or instruments of the spacecraft in an instant.
It is huge
The International Space Station is the largest man-made object. It is 357 feet long. This huge spaceship is traveling in space with its mass of 460 tons.
Anyone can visit the space station
The International Space Station is helping people think as one. You can even be a part of it if you want. Anyone can see the spacecraft from Earth using Google Street View.