International Space Station

The ISS in Space

What is the ISS?

The International Space Station is a human made space shuttle. It orbits around Earth that we live in. It is a home astronauts live in to study space and perform experiments. It is currently located in Washington D.C.

Countries involved with ISS

Here are currently 16 countries involved with the International Space Station.

1. United States - NASA

2. Russia - Roscosmos

3. Canada - CSA

4. Japan - JAXA

5 Europe - ESA country members include: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

When was the ISS built?

The I.S.S was built on November 20th , 1998. It would have been impossible to build the I.S.S on the ground then launch into space in one go, the rocket isn’t big enough or powerful enough. To solve this problem, the space shuttle was taken to space piece by piece and then slowly built in orbit, almost 400 km above the Earth’s surface.

The International Space Station Configuration

What is the ISS used for?

The I.S.S is used to allow astronauts to take important research. They study the actions of stuff and living things in microgravity habitat. The I.S.S is also used to study the effect of space fight on the human body. Its also used as a home for astronauts and cosmonauts.

Special Features

International Space Station flies 4.971 miles per second (7.71 km), its fast enough to go to the moon and back in just 1 day. Weighs almost 1 million pounds. Size of a football field and has a more liveable space that a 6 bedroom house. There are 2 bathrooms, 1 gymnasium, and a cool 360 degree bay window.

Cool Facts

I.S.S is a human made satellite that orbits around Earth. Its nearly 4 times bigger than the Russian Space Station Mir and 5 times larger than U.S Skylab. According to NASA there are currently 52 computers controlling the International Space Station. The I.S.S crews have eaten about 25,000 meals since 2000, 7 tons of supplies per 3 astronauts for 6 months, thats 32, 558 big macs. 211 people from 15 countries have visited the I.S.S. 8 miles of wire just to connect the electrical power system, thats enough to connect a hair dryer in Newark, New Jersey all the way to New York City.

McDonalds Big Mac

Sleeping in the ISS

Space Craft like the International Space Station have small cabins and have the same kind of air we do here back on Earth. But microgravity causes astronauts to experience weightlessness. Because of this, astronauts can sleep almost anywhere in the shuttle. They sleep during space ship missions originally strapping themselves on to a seat or sleeping in a sleeping bag. Astronauts only need 8 ½ hours to sleep to feel fully rested.

Eating in the ISS

Astronauts consume mostly wet and sticky foods like, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pudding, and stew. Bread is not allowed because it makes crumbs float around that space station. Tortillas are perfect for eating in free fall because they can last for months. Salt and Pepper are consumed because salt dissolves and pepper is suspended in oil. Food is packaged in ways that will last for an entire mission.

Eating in the ISS

Exercising in the ISS

Exercising is a very important part in an astronauts daily routine. Generally, astronauts spend 2 hours exercising per day to prevent bone and muscle loss. The equipment they use in space is different from earths, the treadmill is called Treadmill Vibration Isolation System (TVIS) and there is a Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation System. Lifting 180 pounds on Earth is very hard but, in space 180 pounds feels like 0 pounds! For that reason, exercise equipment needs to be specially made in order to give the astronauts the amount of exercise needed.

Hygiene in the ISS

In a microgravity domain, water stays on the body rather than water running down, so astronauts have sponge baths. There is a limited amount of water in space so, taking spongy baths saves water. They put on shampoo using a towel, Strongly rub their hair and scalp then, use a towel to clean their hair. Astronauts can’t let hair fall of because it can make it a safety hazard, it can clog filters and air circulations or filtrations. Shaving in space is similar than shaving on Earth, but astronauts have to be extra careful not to let any whiskers go floating around. Astronauts either use shaving foam or an electric razor but mostly prefer to use latter, it doesn’t need water and it collects hair right away. They cut hair the same way on Earth, but use a vacuum shaver so that it sucks the little hairs in.

Using the toilet is probably the hardest and most disgusting condition of hygiene in space. The washroom is very small and a seat for movements. There is no gravity in space so astronauts have to use a water free toilet. Astronauts put themselves in a position over the toilet and use body straps to secure themselves. When they are finished they use wet wipes and toilet paper they dispose them in a small container.

Experiments in the ISS

There are 164 experiments being conducted in the I.S.S. Astronauts examine the effects of spaceflight on humans. The International Space Station operates as a science laboratory in the sky. Some of the experiments are, 2D Nano Template (Production of two dimensional Nano Template in microgravity), Bacteriophage (Investigation of spaceflight on Bacteriophage), CALET (CALorimetric Electron Telescope), and DAFT ( Dust and Aerosol Measurement Feasibility Test).

Effect on the Body

Our body is specially designed to live on Earth’s gravity. In space, the body gets use to the microgravity environment and is weightless. Astronauts could have a possible loss of consciousness, nausea, muscle and bone loss, sleep deprivation, disease, and depression.


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