International Space Station (I.S.S.) Project


The I.S.S. (International Space Station) is a very special research laboratory in space.  The purpose of the I.S.S. is to do experiments and collect research for deeper space discoveries.  

Part #1: About the I.S.S.

Countries Involved

         There are 16 countries that create and maintain the I.S.S.  They are USA, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

When Was the I.S.S. Built?

            The building of the I.S.S. began on November, 20th, 1998.  It is an ongoing project.

What Is the I.S.S Used For?

           The I.S.S. is a one-of-a-kind laboratory up in space.  It has helped the world greatly because it has given us an ongoing presence in space.  It’s technology has taught us how to keep a spaceship working properly. This will allow deeper space discoveries.

Where Is the I.S.S. Located?

          The I.S.S. is located in space, but, it can be seen from all over the world.  The I.S.S. is most commonly seen in England.

Special Features That the I.S.S. Has

            The I.S.S. is made up of nodes, which connect parts of the station to each other.  Also, high-tech robotic arms help build the I.S.S. and move astronauts during important and complicated spacewalks.  The I.S.S. interestingly has 2 bathrooms, a gym, and more room than a 6 bedroom house.

Interesting Facts About the I.S.S.

           -The I.S.S. is one of the most expensive items ever built. ( 150 billion dollars as of 2010)

          - The space shuttle travels at around 27,724 kilometers per hour.

           -The I.S.S. weighs about 25,000 pounds

           -The I.S.S. orbits the earth at an altitude of between 330 km and 435 km.

Part #2: Daily Life on the I.S.S.


              Sleeping is very difficult!  Since there is no gravity, the astronauts have to physically attach themselves to a wall.  This prevents them from floating.  Fortunately, since they are weightless, they can sleep in any orientation.  For heavy sleepers, don't worry!  Astronauts are scheduled for 8 hours of sleep.


                In space, you have to make sure that the food you have won’t spoil. It must be stored safely, and ensure that it is imperishable. This is like high-tech camping!  Some foods need to be reconstituted.  Some of those foods include macaroni and spaghetti.  Some foods don't need to be reconstituted, which brownies and fruit.  Salt and pepper are included.  The only difference is, they are made in liquid form!  This is to ensure that the salt and pepper won't float away.  This could clog air vents, contaminate equipment, or get stuck in astronauts eyes, mouth, and nose.


                Life on the ISS is very challenging and exciting. For example, you MUST exercise at least 2 hours per day to prevent bone and muscle loss.  Can we all agree that lifting 250 pounds on earth is quite heavy?  Well, in space, 250 pounds weighs close to nothing!  This means that workout equipment is custom made for the astronauts to fit their needs.


          Astronauts on the I.S.S. have the same hygienic needs as we do.  Astronauts have to wash themselves with a warm washcloth.  No fancy shower or bath, just a washcloth and rinse less shampoo. These cleansing techniques are used because water will just float in the spacecraft, literally! The bathroom is very unique. The toilet has a vacuum that suctions all of the waste into the commode.


               Although it is not permitted to send live mice into space on the I.S.S., frozen mouse embryos are sent into space and then implanted into surrogate on their return to earth.  Scientists use space mice to study the long term exposure to humans that travel into space, which can cause cancer.  Scientists use these space mice to study longevity, cancer development, and gene mutations.

Effects on the Body

              When you first arrive in space, your body won’t be used to weightlessness. This may make the astronauts feel queasy and feel ill. An example of this was when Rusty Schweickart’s spacewalk was delayed. They had to postpone his spacewalk because he felt that he was ill. The fear was if he vomited in his spacesuit, the vomit would travel up to his helmet and prevent him from seeing or interfere with the breathing appliance. He could possibly choke to death.  

              Another long term health effect experienced by the astronauts in space after a long period of time is that their bones weaken and they become more susceptible to breaking them if they slip or fall.  The calcium in bones, which is an essential vitamin, secretes out through their urine, and therefore, weakens the bone.  Muscles also lose mass due the lengthy period of time in space.

Part 3 :  Canadian Contributions Made to Space Through Inventions


               The Canadarm is the popular name for a robotic manipulation system designed for use in zero gravity.  It has accompanied numerous space missions as a component on space shuttles.   It repairs and sends out new satellites. It also can move astronauts around from workspace to workspace and move cargo. This will help astronauts work faster and do it more efficiently.  It is Canada's greatest technological contribution to international space exploration.  


                Dextre is the most sophisticated space robot ever built.  Dextre is extremely precious. It was created in 2008. It’s job is to repair, change batteries, and cameras outside the ISS.   It can amazingly ride the back of the Canadarm 2 and move from place to place.

Hubble Telescope

                Canada contributed financially to the Hubble Telescope. It is a telescope that takes pictures of planets, stars, and galaxies.  Its images of planets, stars, and galaxies look like beautiful pieces of artwork.  All of these images are from a space telescope weighing 11 tonnes and is 15.9 metres in length.


                 RADARSAT is a satellite that creates images used to administer the earth’s resources and supervise global climate change.  It has helped Canada become a world leader in processing of distant sensing data.

Inventions That Are Used in Our Everyday Life

                 A perfect example of technologies that lead to innovation and use to other applications on Earth is the Canadarm. The technology used to build the Canadarm has directly lead to robotic surgery.

                Ovens designed for the ISS focus on heating the food directly rather than filling the oven cavity with heat like the old thermal ovens used to do. This technology heats the food directly, and the food cooks faster and more consistently retaining flavour and texture.

              A metal alloy designed for the ISS is called Zeemet which is a metal that is used in Jack Nicklaus designed golf clubs.

In Conclusion:

           In conclusion, the International Space Station is a major contributor to space exploration.  The research, developments, and experiments have had a profound impact on mankind.  Canada has been a significant contributor and supporter to the I.S.S. mission.


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