The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest human-made object to orbit the Earth. In fact, the space station is a home in which the crew of astronauts and cosmonauts live.
Here we’re going to learn 16 astonishing facts about the International Space Station.
- The ISS flies at an average altitude of 400 kilometres (250 miles) above the Earth.
- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station experience 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day.
- Sixteen nations worked together to build and use the space station: the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
- More than 230 people from 18 different nations have visited the International Space Station since the year 2000.
- The International Space Station is as spacious as a six-bedroom house. It has six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym and a 360-degree view bay window.
- The ISS is the third brightest object in the night sky, and it can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.
- The space station travels at an average speed of 17,500 miles per hour. This means it orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes.
- The ISS is the single most expensive object ever made. The cost of the ISS has been estimated at over $100 billion (£66.7 billion).
- On Earth, the International Space Station weighs around 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilograms).
- Astronauts exercise for two hours each day in order to prevent the loss of bone and muscle mass in micro-gravity.
- The internal pressurized volume of ISS is 32,333 cubic feet, which is about the same of a Boeing 747.
- The ISS is 357 feet (or 109 meters) long – that is big enough to cover a football field including the end zones.
- The space station is five times the size of the US Skylab and four times bigger than Russia’s Mir.
- American astronaut Peggy Whitson set the record for spending the most time living and working in space at 665 days on September 2, 2017.
- The electrical power system at the space station is connected by eight miles of wire.
- Astronauts and cosmonauts have made 205 spacewalks for the repair, maintenance and assembly of the space station since 1998.