What is the International Space Station?
The International Space Station is a spacecraft which revolves around the Earth. It is home to the astronauts who are sent to Earth’s orbit. The ISS is a joint mission where scientists and astronauts from different countries work together.
So where is ISS right now? ISS is rotating around the Earth all the time. Therefore, it keeps on changing its position. There are different ISS tracking websites from where you can pinpoint the corresponding ground location of the station. The ISS position is around 220 miles over the Earth where NASA learns about the artificial environment it created to live in space. NASA plans to use these lessons for all future endeavors of astronauts deeper into the universe.
International Space Station from Earth
It was a mammoth task building the human-made marvel with different pieces, taking 13 years of massive struggle to complete. An amount of $150 billion was spent in its construction. The station has to be boosted from time to time because of the atmospheric drag impacting its orbit.
The mobility of the spacecraft’s structure lets the astronaut’s yaw, roll, pitch, or move it in three dimensions. This agility and movement of the station help avoid the atmospheric debris which can impact its equipment worth billions of dollars. If you saw the movie Gravity, you can well imagine how it can change ISS.
Here are some fun facts about the station.
- It travels a distance equal to that of going to the Moon from Earth and back in one day.
- It weighs around 930,000 pounds and has a pressurized volume of 32,333 cubic feet.
- The crew took 26,500 meals onboard from the start of the mission till 2nd November 2015.
- The team of 6 spends around 52,560 hours at ISS during one year.
- It travels at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour.
- It takes the spacecraft around 90 minutes to complete one revolution around the Earth.
- The crew sees 16 Sun rises every 24 hours.
- It has more room in it than an average 6-bedroom house.
- The astronauts have to work out at least two hours a day to overcome body’s tendency to lose bone and muscle in space.
- The process of electrolysis provides a fresh supply of oxygen to its inhabitants.
- There are 52 computers on board controlling the functions of the international space station.
- The size of the ISS is five times larger than the US Skylab and four times bigger than the Russian Spacecraft named Mir.
- The US control computers on board have a little storage capacity of just 1.5 Gigabits.
- The spacecraft also houses a gym, two bathrooms, and a view bay window providing 360-degree views.
- The length of the electrical wire connecting the different systems is 8 miles.
- There are 350,000 sensors which control the spacecraft’s health and safety.
- The flight software running the spacecraft has 1.8 million lines of code written. There is a test environment on the ground supporting the main software with 3.3 million lines of source code lines in it.
- Space station sightings are frequent at night, but you need to correctly time yourself. Popular destinations for spacecraft station sightings include London, Manchester, Brisbane, Sydney, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Melbourne, Cardiff, and Exeter.