Facts About the International Space Station:
Mass: Currently 277,598 kg (612,000 pounds)
Mass when assembly is completed: Approximately 419,600 kg (925,000 pounds).
Orbit inclination: 51.6 degrees.
Altitude: The station is located at an altitude of 350 km (217 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
Pressurized volume: Approximately 1,000 cubic meters (33,023 cubic feet) when assembly is completed.
Power generation: ISS is powered by solar arrays that can generate 110 kilowatt (147.5 horsepower) once assembled completely.
Size: Truss 110 meters long (361 feet), module 70 meters (240 feet) in length when fully assembled.
First module: Zarya functional cargo block launched in November 1998
Participating countries: United States, Japan, Canada, Russia and 11 European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Number of missions required: more than 50 missions will be required to transport and assemble all parts of the International Space Station.
Spacewalks required: About 160 space walks for ISS maintenance and assembly
Some more astonishing facts about the International Space Station:
1. The international Space Station orbits around the Earth in a period of about 92 minutes. It had completed more than 56,400 orbits by September 23, 2008. The number of orbits completed till date, surprisingly, is equivalent to the distance between Earth and Uranus.
2. With a collaboration of 100,000 people, sixteen nations, hundreds of companies, the scheduled date for completion of the ISS in 2010.
3. The International Space Station is the largest international scientific project and the most expensive manned object ever built with United States incurring an estimated cost of a whopping $96 billion, an amount nearly equaling the combined cost of all Apollo missions to the moon.
4. The first permanent crew members included American Astronaut Bill shepherd (he was also the ISS commander) and Russian Cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev, as flight engineer and Youri Gidaenko as Soyuz commander. The crew expedition lasted for 140 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes in orbit.
5. One of the most interesting facts about the International Space Station is that the ISS will be visible to more than 90 percent of the world’s population once fully constructed.
6. Every astronaut has to undergo strenuous exercise for at least two hours on the ISS. This ensures lower risks in muscle degradation and osteoporosis among Astronauts.
7. The Space station consists of 70 major components and thousands of minor ones, all of which will be assembled for the first time in space.
8. The ISS encompasses 43,000 cubic feet of living and working space which is equal to the space inside two Boeings.