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Definition: International Space Station from The Macquarie Dictionary

a multi-module space station for long-term habitation and research, assemblage of which began in space in 1998; initiated by the US with the involvement also of Russia, Japan, the European Union countries, and Brazil.


Summary Article: International Space Station
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Space station in low Earth orbit used for scientific and space research. Its construction was a collaboration between the USA, the Russian Federation, Japan, Canada, Brazil, and the European Space Agency. The first component was launched in 1998 and 12 additional modular units have since been launched and attached, the latest in 2011. The cost of the project to 2010 was $100 million. The 450-tonne ISS is the largest artificial body ever to orbit the Earth and holds the record for the longest continuous period of human habitation in space. It is in continuous use with average crew sizes of three to six astronauts.

The complete station orbits at an altitude of around 378 km/235 mi. It measures 73 m/240 ft in length and 108 m/356 ft across its solar wings. The first crew arrived at the ISS in 2000, under the command of NASA astronaut William Shepherd.


International Space Station


crew return vehicle


drogue parachute

International Space Station

Japanese Experiment Module


space habitation module

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