The Construction of the International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) is unlike any construction project on Earth. There aren’t people crowding around it, creating it from the bottom up like you see when you pass a building under construction, but every day, the ISS is traveling through space at five miles per second with a crew on board that’s actively working on improving it. This station has been under construction since the Zarya control module was launched in November 1998, and ever since then, the structure has continued to grow.
Today, the ISS is largely complete, but upgrades continue to be made as countries all over the world work together to create a better research station in space. The ISS allows scientists to not only try new research projects to further humanity but discover more about space and the world around us.
If you’re interested in learning more about the construction of the International Space Station and what it’s like to live there, check out the following resources:
- Building the International Space Station: The European Space Agency presents a day-by-day look at how the largest international cooperative science project was created.
- History and Timeline of the ISS: The ISS National Laboratory offers a timeline and video rendering to show the evolution of the ISS and how it was built.
- International Space Station: Facts, History, and Tracking: This article has a bunch of videos and animations that showcase the space station as well as facts about the structure and space in general.
- How the Most Expensive Structure in the World Was Built: Read this article to learn what led up to the International Space Station being built and what it’s like up there for the astronauts today.
- Time-Lapse Video of the International Space Station’s Assembly: If you’re interested in the visuals of how this space station was built, look at this video that depicts the creation of the space station as it happened.
- How the ISS Was Built: This page features a TED talk about how the space station was built thanks to an incredible collaboration between different countries.
- Space Station: An Educator’s Resource Guide: This is an in-depth guide for teachers to use to explain the space station to their classes.
- Historical Snapshot: ISS: The prime contractor for the ISS examines the station’s backstory.
- International Space Station Facts and Photos: This page talks about not only what the ISS is but what it can teach us about our future in space.
- Historic Spacecraft: International Space Station: Read a breakdown of different sections of the spacecraft, when they were launched, and what they do for the space station.
- Build a Space Station: Try this fun group activity and get students to work together to create a design for their own space station.
- International Space Station Gallery: The Houston Space Center offers an overview of the International Space Station and discusses an exhibit that provides a look inside the station.
- Reference Guide to the International Space Station: This book is a detailed reference about the different parts of the International Space Station and how it was created.
- International Space Station Systems: This engineering case study discusses in detail the application of system engineering principles used in the station.
- Space Station Concepts: See drawings of what people thought space stations would look over the years compared to photos of what the International Space Station looks like today.
- Celebrating 20 Years of the International Space Station: Watch a video of astronaut Sunita Williams discussing the past and present of the ISS courtesy of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
- From the Seafloor to the Space Station: This page offers a brief overview of what the ISS is and how it was constructed from the perspective of oceanographers.
- Spot the Station: NASA has created a mapping tool so you can see the ISS pass overhead.
- Current Position of the ISS: Get a peek of what the astronauts can see right now from the ISS with this utility that is updated in real time.
- Preparing Humans for Deep-Space Exploration: The Planetary Society looks at facts about the ISS and why it’s necessary as humans yearn to learn more about space and what’s beyond what we already know.
- How Many People Are in Space Right Now? Are you curious about how many people are on the ISS right now? Find out here, then scroll down to learn about who those people are, how long they’ve been there, where they’re from, and their background.
- International Space Station: This easy-to-follow educational video can help kids who are interested in learning more about the International Space Station.
- The ISS Is 20 and Going Strong: Take a look at the 20th anniversary of the ISS, the first crew to ever step aboard the ISS, and how it’s changed over the past two decades.
- Ten Surprising Facts About the ISS: PBS has created a list of ten facts you may not have known about the creation and use of the ISS.
- The ISS: Russian Space Web has provided a history of the ISS from its initial design to its current iteration as well as some facts about which countries provided different pieces of hardware.
- What Is the International Space Station? This article covers the history, purpose, and structure of the International Space Station.
- Life on the International Space Station: Air & Space Magazine has interviewed several astronauts about their life while they were on the ISS.