Rita, Samantha & Kiara
First Space Station
Mir was a Soviet and later Russian space station, operational
in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001. Mir was the first of the
third generation type of space station, constructed from 1986
to 1996 with a modular design, and was the largest artificial
satellite orbiting the Earth until its deorbit on 21 March 2001,
a record now surpassed by the International Space Station (ISS).
Mir served as a microgravity research laboratory in which crews conducted
experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and
spacecraft systems, with an aim to develop technologies required for the permanent
occupation of space. The station was the first consistently inhabited long-term research
station in space, and was operated by a series of long-duration crews.
The Mir programme held the record for the longest uninterrupted human presence in
space, at 3,644 days, until 23 October 2010 (when it was surpassed by the ISS), and
currently holds that for the longest single human spaceflight, of Valeri Polyakov, at 437
days 18 hours. Mir was occupied for a total of twelve and a half years of its fifteen-year
lifespan, having the capacity to support a resident crew of three and larger crews for
Salyut 1 was the first space station put into orbit. The Soviets launched it from
Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 19, 1971 using a three-stage Proton launch vehicle. It
completed 362 orbits before deorbiting and reentering the atmosphere over the Pacific
Ocean in October. It was destroyed by frictional heating during its return.
The ISS is made up of 16 countries including:
the U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil, and 11
countries of the European Space Agency:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy,
the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,
Facts and Figures
Mass: Currently 277,598 kg, when completed: 419,600 kg
Orbit inclination: 51.6 degrees.
Altitude: The station is located at an altitude of 350 km above the Earth’s surface.
Pressurised volume: Approximately 1,000 cubic meters when assembly is completed.
Power generation: ISS is powered by solar arrays that can generate 110 kilowatt once
Size: Truss 110 meters long module 70 meters 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.
ISS Science Looks to Mars
Can humans live on Mars? Is it safe?
Scientists are looking into health, atmospheric pressure, plant and animal
environments etc. In order for information on humans being able to live on