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The Complete International Space Station Guide for Students and Space Enthusiasts

written by: Anurag Ghosh•edited by: RC Davison•updated: 9/26/2011

Do you know how big the International Space Station and when it was completed? Or what are its main goals? Read our guide and find out how the ISS was formed, its key objectives, missions, modules and what are its accomplishments so far.

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    Some Basics on the International Space Station

    The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint endeavor of the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency, the Russian Federal Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The main objective of the The International Space Station project is to have a space station that operates as a research laboratory and space observatory in space.

    Assembly of the ISS began in November 2008 and was completed in May 20111. The ISS will probably continue operation until 2028. Fully assembled, the International Space Station is four times bigger than the Mir space station.

    There are many such interesting facts about the International Space Station. Everything you wanted to know about its history, the operations carried out and objectives can be found in this guide. You will also learn more about the space station design and instructions to track the ISS as well as history and interesting facts about participant space agencies.

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    Getting Started: International Space Station Design, History, Facts and Accomplishments

    Before you learn about the International Space Station’s design and accomplishments, you should first know what Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is. The ISS and the Hubble Space Telescope operate from LEO. This section provides an article that explains what Low Earth Orbit is in layman’s term.

    Once you fully understand what LEO is, you can go ahead and learn more about the essential elements of a space station design. This will help you understand the basic structure and modules of the ISS.

    After learning more about the space station design basics, you should read our best articles on the information, facts, history, key accomplishments and the future of the ISS. You will also find out what steps are being taken to expand the project and complete the ISS assembly within the scheduled period

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    Different Types of Modules and Cargo Transport Vehicles

    Do you know what an Automatic Transfer Vehicle, also known as Jules Verne, is? Or who is Robonaut? If you want to know more about the latest developments, it is important that you keep yourself updated with the latest news about the ISS. You may like to read this section to know more about the different modules and vehicles helping the ISS project inch a step closer to completion. You will find information on everything related to the ISS, from cargo vehicles to robots that assist astronauts in space.

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    Life Aboard the ISS

    Being part of the astronaut team at the ISS is not easy. Maintaining a working and sleeping schedule can be quite challenging for astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Water management has been one of the key concerns for them and hence recycling water is the only way to curb on huge costs on shipping water to the station.

    Moreover, working in a zero gravity environment is not that easy and hence maintaining a proper health of astronauts is of utmost importance. This can only be achieved through proper exercise and this is the perfect way to combat weightlessness.

    If you are curious to know more about an astronaut’s lifestyle, sleep and work schedule, then these informative articles will help you learn more about astronauts onboard the ISS. You will also find out how water management is carried out in manned spacecraft and what the necessities of life are during space travel.

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    Know More About the Participating Agencies

    NASA, the ESA, the Canadian Space Agency, the Russian Federal Space Agency and JAXA are the five main participating space agencies of the ISS. Surely, you would love to know more about their history and accomplishments and their contributions to the construction and operation of the International Space Station.

    This section will explain everything you wanted to know about the participant space agencies. You will find informative pieces that highlight their accomplishments, missions and developments in shaping the future of space research and technology. You will also find the best articles that highlight the key features of other space agencies.

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    Tracking and Photographing the ISS

    Tracking the ISS from the ground is fun! You can catch a glimpse of the artificial satellite with your naked eyes or a pair of binoculars when the conditions are just perfect for viewing. And if you are lucky enough, you can capture the magnificent spectacle in the sky with your camera. But make sure you are equipped with the best camera and have the right settings to photograph the ISS. If you still haven’t figured out how to do it, then you should read the following guides. You will find key tips and hints to capture the ISS on your lens. You will also know the best time to track the ISS.

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