An artificial satellite or space station that can support human habitation is called the International Space Station (ISS) (low-earth-orbit). It is the largest single structure a person has ever sent into space.
The International Space Station’s major construction took place between 1998 and 2011. In November 2000, the first permanent occupants of the ISS arrived. By March 14, 2019, over 236 visitors from 18 countries had docked at the ISS.
In addition to other countries, the United States has sent 143 persons, followed by others like Russia with 46, Japan with 8, Canada with 7, and Italy with 5.
The ISS comprises pressurized housing modules, robotic arms, experiment bays, docking ports, radiators, and structural trusses. Interestingly, the International Space Station is visible to the unaided eye.
Can You See The ISS With Your Bare Eyes?
The International Space Station (ISS) appears like a vast, white dot that moves slowly and swiftly across the sky without changing course.
Right before sunrise and a couple of hours after dusk, the space station is visible to the unaided eye. It may also be observed throughout the day, but very difficultly.
The ISS keeps a constant distance from the earth’s surface of around 250 miles. The ISS travels from one horizon to the next in about 10 minutes; as a result, it is only visible for a portion of that time as it passes in and out of the planet’s shadow.
Every day, the ISS completes 15.5 orbits of the earth. The ISS may be seen even in metropolitan areas where the night sky is impacted by light pollution because of its size, making it the second-brightest object in the night sky after the moon.
The ISS emits around 16 times brighter flares than Venus, just like many spacecraft.
Several resources and smartphone apps can inform you when the ISS will be traveling over your region. These programs utilize orbital information and the observer’s latitude and longitude to predict when the space station will be seen.
NASA’s Spot the Station program, which notifies individuals through email or text when the ISS will fly over their towns, was introduced in 2012. Over 95% of the inhabited regions can view the ISS, although not from the extreme southern or northern latitudes.
Control Over The ISS
The United States, Canada, Russia, Europe, Japan, and the International Space Station project work together. The ISS is used and owned by intergovernmental agreements and treaties.
The space station is divided into two parts operated by different nations: the USOS (U.S. Orbital Segment) and the ROS (Russian Orbital Segment).
The Russians have granted permission for the space station to be used continuously until 2024, although they want to use a portion of the ROS to construct a new space station called OPSEK.
The mission of the ISS
The original pact between NASA and Roscosmos said that the ISS would function as a factory, observatory, and laboratory.
Future trips to Mars, the Moon, and other asteroids were also intended to use the ISS for repair, transportation, and staging. Research may be done on a platform provided by the International Space Station.