International Space Station
Did you know that, even though the International Space Station (ISS) is in orbit more than 400 km
above the Earth, it is visible to the naked eye from Canada and most other countries? The birth of this
new star in our skies represents the most ambitious engineering project ever undertaken by
humanity—the result of an unprecedented international effort.
Canada is contributing an essential component of the International Space Station, the Mobile
Servicing System (MSS). The MSS consists of three main elements: the Space Station Remote
Manipulator System (SSRMS), known as Canadarm2, the Mobile Base System (MBS), and the
Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM), known as Dextre.
International Space Station
Canada is one of the international partners working with the United States, Russia, Japan and 11
nations, members of the European Space Agency, to construct the largest and the most sophisticated
international engineering project ever undertaken, the International Space Station.
The International Space Station will provide scientists and engineers with ongoing access to the unique
microgravity (very low gravity) environment of space. As a permanent space laboratory, the ISS will
allow scientists and engineers to use this unique venue to discover entirely new materials, crystals and
processes that would not otherwise be achieved. Research will be conducted in a variety of fields such
as life sciences, materials, Earth observation and astronomy.
It will also establish a permanent human presence in space and result in the acquisition of knowledge
required to conduct human missions to Mars and beyond.
Participating countries United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and 11 European countries (Belgium,
Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom).
Canada's contribution The mobile servicing system (MSS), which includes three elements:
the robotic arm Canadarm2, the mobile base system and the special
purpose dexterous manipulator Dextre
The Canadian Space Vision System
The ground segment, the MSS Operations Complex is located at the
Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec. This
complex provides the infrastructure, resources, equipment and
expertise required for monitoring and analysis of MSS operations in
space, training of ISS crew members and ground crew, logistic
support and flow of MSS operations in real-time processing.
Scheduled date of 2010
Number of missions Over 50 missions will be required to transport and assemble all parts of the
Number of spacewalks About 160 spacewalks, that is, 960 hours, will be required for station
required assembly and maintenance.
In April 2001, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield became
the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk (extravehicular activity, or EVA)
when he installed Canadarm2 on the ISS.
Size Fully assembled, the ISS will be 108 by 74 metres.
It will have 1,250 cubic metres of living and working space, which is
the equivalent of the interior of a Boeing 747, about the size of three
average Canadian houses.
Mass About 450 metric tons
Pressurized volume 1,200 cubic metres
Orbit Inclination 51.6 degrees
Altitude From 370 to 460 kilometres
Facilities Six laboratories with 24 experiment racks (about the size of a refrigerator)
First modules Zarya, launched in November 1998, and Unity, launched in December 1998
Power generation With an acre wing area for the solar arrays, it will generate 110 kilowatts
Cost The cost of designing, developing, and installing the mobile servicing system
on the station is about $1.4 billion over 20 years (1984 to 2004), or about
three dollars a year per Canadian taxpayer.
Benefits Economic benefits worth about $6 billion are expected from Canada's
participation in the International Space Station, with 70,000 person-
years of employment.
Contracts worth $919 million have been awarded to the Canadian
aerospace industry to date, generating $2.8 billion in benefits and
32,000 person-years of employment.
Crews Expedition 1 (October 31, 2000, to March 21, 2001)
First permanent crew included American Astronaut and ISS
Commander Bill Shepherd and Russian Cosmonauts Youri Gidzenko
as Soyuz Commander and Sergei Krikalev, as Flight Engineer. A
Soyuz rocket was used for transport. In orbit for 140 days, 23 hours
and 30 minutes.
Expedition 2 (March 8 to August 22, 2001)
Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yury
Usachev, and by American Astronauts and Flight Engineers James
Voss and Susan Helms. Vehicule used: Space Shuttle Discovery. In
orbit for 167 days, 6 hours and 41 minutes.
Expedition 3 (from August 10 to December 17, 2001)
Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander Frank
Culbertson and Russian Cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhuroz (Soyuz
Commander) and Mikhail Tyurin (Flight Engineer). Space Shuttle
Discovery was used for transport. In orbit for 128 days, 20 hours
and 45 minutes.
Expedition 4 (December 5, 2001, to June 19, 2002)
Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yury I.
Onufrienko, and American Astronauts and Flight Engineers Daniel W.
Bursh and Carl E. Waltz. Space Shuttle Endeavour was used for
transport. In orbit for 195 days, 19 hours and 39 minutes.
Expedition 5 (June 5 to December 7, 2002)
Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Valery
Korzun, and American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson
and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev. Space
Shuttle Endeavour was used for transport. In orbit for 184 days, 22
hours and 14 minutes.
Expedition 6 (November 23, 2002, to May 3, 2003)
Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander
Kenneth Bowersox, American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Donald
Pettit, and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Nicolai Budarin.
Space Shuttle Endeavour was used for transport. In orbit for 161
days, 1 hour and 17 minutes.
Expedition 7 (April 25 to October 27, 2003)
Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yuri
Malenchenko and American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Ed Lu.
Soyuz TMA-2 was used for transport. In orbit for 184 days, 21 hours
and 47 minutes.
Expedition 8 (October 18, 2003, to April 29, 2004)
Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander Michael
Foale, and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri.
The European Space Agency's Pedro Duque of Spain accompanied
Expedition 8 into space and came back nine days later with
Expedition 7. Soyuz TMA-3 was used for transport. In orbit for 194
days, 18 hours and 35 minutes.
Expedition 9 (April 18 to October 2004)
Crew comprised of Russian cosmonaut and ISS commander Gennady
Padalka and by American astronaut and flight engineer Mike Fincke.
The European Space Agency's André Kuipers from the Netherlands
accompanied Expedition 9 and came back nine days later with
Expedition 8. Soyuz TMA-4 was used for transport. They are still in
Expedition 10 (October 2004)
American Astronaut Leroy Chiao and Russain Cosmonaut Salizhan S.
Sharipov will form the crew of Expedition 10.
Expedition 11 (April 14, to October 10, 2005)
American Astronaut John Phillips and Russain Cosmonaut Sergei
Krikalev. Soyuz TMA-6 was used for transport. In orbit for 179 days,
Expedition 12 (September 30, 2005 to April 8, 2006)
American Astronaut William McArthur and Russain Cosmonaut Valery
Tokarev. Soyuz TMA-7 was used for transport. In orbit for 189 days,
19 hours and 53 minutes.
Expedition 13 (March 29, 2006 to September 28, 2006)
American Astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Europeen astronaut Thomas
Reiter and Russain Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. Soyuz TMA-8 was
used for transport. In orbit for 182 days, 23 hours and 44 minutes.
Expedition 14 (September 18, 2006 to April 21, 2007)
American Astronauts Sunita Williams and Michael Lopez-Alegria and
Russain Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. Soyuz TMA-9 was used for
transport. In orbit for 215 days, 8 hours and 23 minutes.
Expedition 15 (April 7, 2007 to October 2007)
American Astronaut Clayton Anderson, and Russain Cosmonauts
Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov. Soyuz TMA-10 was used for
Expedition 16 (October 2007)
American Astronaut Clayton Anderson, and Russain Cosmonauts
Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov.
Working in space
By contributing the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) to the International Space Station (ISS), Canada
acquires rights for the use of the Space Station for scientific and technological research. To ensure that
we can make use of this sophisticated orbiting laboratory, the Canadian Space Agency established the
Physical Science in Space Program. The program gives researchers in companies and universities
experience in designing and building experiments and equipment for space. It also provides funding for
the training and equipment needed for space research. Thanks to this program, Canada will have a
research and industry community ready to use our allocated Space Station resources effectively.
To train astronauts and mission controllers, the Canadian Space Agency has built an MSS Operations
Complex (MOC) at its headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec. The MOC is a state-of-the-art centre that
includes a number of operation and training facilities: the Space Operations Support Centre, the MSS
Simulation Facility, the Kinematic Operations Simulator, and the Canadian MSS Training Facility. Each
plays a unique role either in supporting ISS mission planning and operations, or in training operators to
use and maintain Canadarm2. Controllers will use the MOC to plan complex Canadarm2 manoeuvres
before they are performed in orbit. They will also monitor the condition of the MSS and its complex
hardware and software systems. ISS astronauts and cosmonauts from many countries will visit the
MOC to learn about the MSS and how to operate it in the demanding space environment.
Part of our future
Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator
Canada's destiny is in space. Space is the most demanding environment for developing the nation's
science and engineering resources and capacity. It stretches our capabilities and helps us become
better in all we do. In striving to meet the challenges of space, we learn to solve problems on earth,
and we stand to gain from the unimagined breakthroughs. Information from space is vital to our
understanding of the fragile planet Earth. From space, we can monitor changes on earth's surface, and
in its life-giving atmosphere. The Space Station is our first permanent foothold in space: an orbiting
laboratory for the unexplored science of microgravity; an observation post to monitor earth's
constantly changing environment; a unique space-based technology test bed; and a platform to explore
the distant stars and the heavens. Canada's contribution to the International Space Station Program
ensures that we will be part of mankind's greatest adventure. Like the explorers of the past, we know
not precisely where we shall land, but we voyage forth in the knowledge that great rewards await us.