Celebrating the Two Decades of the ISS

Celebrating the Two Decades of the ISS


On November 2, 2020, the world celebrated 20 years of having humans in orbit on the International Space Station. The first components were launched in 1998, and the facility has been responsible for numerous discoveries over the years.

Michael Lopez-Alegria participated in the initial construction of the space station back in the 1990s. He says that it’s hard to believe the facility has been inhabited for two decades. His credentials include visiting the orbital station three times and being the final person before permanent missions began in 2000.

Lopez-Alegria calls the ISS the most complex and audacious construction project that humans have ever attempted in space. Our global successes with this endeavor are part of the fuel used to push further into our solar system, including constructing a moon base and a visit to Mars.

Over 240 People From 19 Countries Have Visited the ISS

What is so incredible about the ISS is that the space environment research laboratory and its microgravity foundations have hosted over 3,000 investigations since its beginning. 

Although we started constructing the International Space Station in 1998, it was an idea that was first conceived in 1984. It follows in the footsteps of Salyut, Almaz, Mir, and Skylab.

Five space agencies collaborated to make the ISS happen: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. Several intergovernmental agreements and treaties establish the ownership and use of the station. 

The ISS is currently the most massive artificial object in space created by humans. That also makes it the largest satellite in a low earth orbit. When you look up into the night sky, you can see it traversing across the stars.

The ISS Is Divided into Two Primary Sections

The United States and Russia operate the two main sections of the International Space Station. Several countries share each side while working with the primary operators of each segment.

We are still adding components to the ISS so that it can continue serving our future needs. An experimental inflatable space habitat was added in 2016 to the structure, while a pressurized module called Leonardo was fitted to it in 2011. 

To help celebrate the commemorative anniversary, Google produced a couple of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. The Puzzle Party Experiment is a single-player or multiplayer game that involves the company’s first single partnership arrangement. 

It includes images from the station’s archives, forming the foundation for the puzzles that you would put together by yourself, with friends, or with your family. The images range from an exterior view of the ISS to astronauts participating on spacewalks. 

You can also find coloring pages for children or adults inspired by the iconic shots released by the International Space Station over the years.

Although space exploration has taken a pause since humans first stepped foot on the moon, the ISS hopes to change that in the coming years. When the facility celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2040, our planet might be a very different place to live. 

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