In November of this year the ISS will celebrate ten years of orbit. In those ten years, the ISS grew from just one module weighing 20 tons, into nine modules weighing 300 tons. It has been inhabited by 17 different expeditions, a total of 43 astronauts, 18 Russians, 23 Americans, one German and one French, some revisiting or extending their stay, and consuming more than 18,000 meals in the process. Also, 163 different people have visited the ISS, including Space Shuttle Crews as well as the first five space tourists in history.
The crews of the ISS have conducted 84 spacewalks and 588 experiments and tasks (including each expedition's Teaching From Space, Earth Observations and journal keeping). Research covers topics such as biomedical research, biotechnology, fluid physics, materials science, quantum physics, astronomy, and meteorology. The latest Kibo and Columbus modules will really boost the spread and depth of scientific experimentation in the ISS.
A total of 49 flights have been made to assemble and service the station. More than 100,000 people in 16 countries make the ISS a reality, with 300 contractors building all its pieces. By November 20 it will have completed more than 57,000 orbits, and travelled more than 2.3 billion kilometers (1.4 billion miles).