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ISS by the numbers: 20 years of continuous life in space

The International Space Station received its first crew on November 2, 2000, exactly 20 years ago. Since then, a monumental amount of research and discoveries have been made aboard the ISS. Cooperation from the United States, Russia, Japan, and many more countries have made this all possible.

Of course, none of this would be at all possible without the ISS itself. So, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting statistics of the amazing ISS.

One of the things that many people may not realize about the ISS is its sheer size. The ISS wingspan puts it at 357 feet long, just a single yard away from the length of a football field. Because of its enormous size, the ISS weighs a lot too, approximately 925,335 pounds, to be exact.

Another surprising aspect of the ISS is how fast it can travel being so big and heavy. Despite its size, the ISS travels around the Earth at about 17,500 mph. That’s fast enough that the ISS orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. To give you an idea of that speed, most commercial passenger jets cruise at around 500 mph.

Over the past 20 years, the ISS has been a temporary home to 240 individuals from 19 different countries. Those 240 individuals have done 227 spacewalks and 3,000 different research investigations.

Some of the other various surprising facts about the ISS are; its orbital path takes it over 90% of the Earth’s population, its “water recovery system” recycles 93% of the station’s waste water, and that eight spaceships can be docked to the station simultaneously.

As you can see, the ISS is a rather fantastic space station. It has allowed humans to cooperate and solve some of the biggest mysteries surrounding space.

If you want to know more about the exciting aspects of the ISS, you can click here. You can also click here to be redirected to a special ISS 20 year podcast hosted by Joel Montalbano, the ISS program manager at NASA.



Avatar for Nicholas Terry Nicholas Terry

Nick has a love for technology, cars, and space.