International Space Station

ISS crew member storing samples
A comparison between the combustion of a candle on Earth (left) and in a free fall environment, such as that found on the ISS (right)
A 3D plan of the Russia-based MARS-500 complex, used for conducting ground-based experiments that complement ISS-based preparations for a human mission to Mars
Original Jules Verne manuscripts displayed by crew inside the Jules Verne ATV
ISS module Node 2 manufacturing and processing in the Space Station Processing Facility
Animation of the assembly of the International Space Station
The ISS was slowly assembled over more than a decade of spaceflights and crews.
An iconic view of the completed station as seen from Shuttle Atlantis during STS-132, 23 May 2010
Zarya as seen by during STS-88
Unity as seen by during STS-88
Zvezda as seen by during STS-97
The Destiny module being installed on the ISS
Quest Joint Airlock Module
Harmony shown connected to Columbus, Kibo, and Destiny. PMA-2 faces. The nadir and zenith locations are open.
Tranquility in 2011
The Columbus module on the ISS
Kibō Exposed Facility on the right
The Cupola windows with shutters open
Rassvet module with MLM-outfitting equipment (consisting of experiment airlock, radiators, and ERA workpost) at KSC.
MLM outfittings on Rassvet
A wide-angle view of the new module (behind Rassvet) attached to the ROS as seen from the cupola
Modified passive forward port for experiment airlock near the nadir end of Nauka
Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module
Progression of the expansion of BEAM
IDA-1 upright
NanoRacks Bishop airlock module installed on the ISS
1637984492234 Progress MS 17 undocking and Nauka nadir temporary docking adapter Removal
Nauka and Prichal docked to ISS
ISS Truss Components breakdown showing Trusses and all ORUs in situ
Construction of the Integrated Truss Structure over New Zealand.
The cancelled Habitation module under construction at Michoud in 1997
The interactions between the components of the ISS Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS)
ISS External Active Thermal Control System (EATCS) diagram
Dragon and Cygnus cargo vessels were docked at the ISS together for the first time in April 2016.
Japan's Kounotori 4 berthing
Commercial Crew Program vehicles Starliner and Dragon
The Progress M-14M resupply vehicle approaching the ISS in 2012. More than 50 unpiloted Progress spacecraft have delivered supplies during the lifetime of the station.
, ATV-2, Soyuz TMA-21, and Progress M-10M docked to the ISS, as seen from the departing Soyuz TMA-20
Spare parts are called ORUs; some are externally stored on pallets called ELCs and ESPs.
While anchored on the end of the OBSS during STS-120, astronaut Scott Parazynski performs makeshift repairs to a US solar array that damaged itself when unfolding.
Mike Hopkins during a spacewalk
Engineer Gregory Chamitoff peering out of a window
STS-122 mission specialists working on robotic equipment in the US lab
The crews of Expedition 20 and STS-127 enjoy a meal inside Unity.
Main dining desk in Node 1
Cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin at work inside the Zvezda service module crew quarters
Astronaut Frank De Winne, attached to the TVIS treadmill with bungee cords aboard the ISS
Orbits of the ISS, shown in April 2013
The ISS and HTV photographed from Earth by Ralf Vandebergh
Composite of six photos of the ISS transiting the gibbous Moon
A Commemorative Plaque honouring Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement signed on 28 January 1998
Many ISS resupply spacecraft have already undergone atmospheric re-entry, such as Jules Verne ATV
Technical blueprint of components.
The ISS exterior and steelwork taken on 8 November 2021, from the departing SpaceX Crew-2 capsule.
Diagram structure of International Space Station after installation of solar arrays (as of September 2021).
A 7-gram object (shown in centre) shot at {{convert|7|km/s|ft/s|abbr=on}}, the orbital velocity of the ISS, made this {{convert|15|cm|in|abbr=on}} crater in a solid block of aluminium.
Radar-trackable objects, including debris, with distinct ring of geostationary satellites
Example of risk management: A NASA model showing areas at high risk from impact for the International Space Station.
Skytrack long duration exposure of the ISS
The ISS on its first pass of the night passing nearly overhead shortly after sunset in June 2014
The ISS passing north on its third pass of the night near local midnight in June 2014
The ISS passing west on its fifth pass of the night before sunrise in June 2014

Modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit.

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Space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia.

The Travers radar antenna, Sofora girder, VDU thruster block, SPK unit and a Strela crane, alongside Kvant-2 and Priroda
The four solar arrays on Spektr
Graph showing the changing altitude of Mir from 19 February 1986 until 21 March 2001
Mir in orbit
Reinhold Ewald (right) and Vasily Tsibliyev in the core module during Ewald's visit to Mir
Scale model replica of the MIR Space Station at the Euro Space Center Belgium
The seven NASA astronauts who carried out long-duration missions on Mir
Time exposure of Mir passing over Earth's surface, May 1997.
A view of the interior of the core module's docking node, showing the crowded nature of the station.
Shannon Lucid exercises on a treadmill during her stay aboard Mir.
One of the space toilets used aboard Mir
Cosmonaut Yury Usachov in his Kayutka
The core module with Kvant-1 and Soyuz TM-3
Mir following the arrival of Kvant-2 in 1989
A view of Mir from Soyuz TM-17 on 3 July 1993 showing ongoing docking operations at the station
docked to Mir on STS-71.
Damaged solar arrays on the Mir Spektr module following a collision with Progress M-34 in September 1997.
Mir breaks up in Earth's atmosphere over the South Pacific on 23 March 2001.
Soyuz TM-24 docked with Mir as seen from the during STS-79
RKA Mission Control Center (2007)
A charred panel in Kvant-1 following the Vika fire
Picture of the damage caused by the collision with Progress M-34. Picture was taken by Space Shuttle Atlantis during STS 86
Space debris in low Earth orbit

At the time it was the largest artificial satellite in orbit, succeeded by the International Space Station (ISS) after Mir s orbit decayed.

Salyut programme

The first space station programme, undertaken by the Soviet Union.

Salyut programme insignia
Mockup of Soyuz and Progress spacecraft docked to Salyut 6, Moscow Polytechnical Museum
DOS-5 (Salyut 6) space station with two docked spacecraft
A full-scale model of a Salyut 7 space station and two docked spacecraft. On the left a Soyuz can be seen docked to the fore port, and on the right a Progress is docked at the aft port. The display is in front of one of the pavilions of the Exhibition of Soviet National Economic Achievement.
DOS-7 (Mir Core Module)
DOS-8 (Zvezda ISS module)

Experience gained from the Salyut stations paved the way for multimodular space stations such as Mir and the International Space Station (ISS), with each of those stations possessing a Salyut-derived core module at its heart.


The first United States space station, launched by NASA, occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974.

Von Braun's sketch of a Space Station based on conversion of a Saturn V stage, 1964
The floor grating of Skylab under construction
An early "wet workshop" version of Skylab
Launch of the modified Saturn V rocket carrying the Skylab space station
Skylab 3's Saturn IB at night, July 1973
Skylab in orbit in 1973 as flown, docking ports in view
Owen Garriott performing an EVA in 1973
Spider Anita flown aboard Skylab
Chart for the ED 24 experiment
A labeled illustration of a Skylab film vault, from Skylab: A Guidebook (EP-107) by NASA
Skylab could change its attitude without using propellant by changing the spin of large gyroscopes.
Astronaut Jack Lousma in the shower with curtain partially down, July 1973
Conrad in the Skylab shower in 1973
Earth testing showing partially and fully enclosed positions of the shower curtain
A view of the Skylab space station taken with a hand-held 70 mm Hasselblad camera using a 100 mm lens and SO-368 medium speed Ektachrome film
Hurricane Ellen of 1973, as seen from Skylab
The island of Crete as photographed on June 22, 1973, from Skylab
Skylab as Skylab 2 mission departs
Computational cycle of the Skylab computer program
Skylab Rescue vehicle Apollo CSM being removed from its Saturn IB rocket after the last Skylab mission
Concept for proposed Skylab re-boost
Skylab in February 1974, as Skylab 4 departs
Skylab captured this view of the Sun
Solar prominence recorded by Skylab on August 21, 1973
Equirectangular projection relief map of the Skylab re-entry site and final orbits, as predicted by NASA
Fragment of Skylab recovered after its re-entry through Earth's atmosphere, on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
5-person Apollo Command module for the Apollo Rescue mission
SA-209 served on standby for Skylab 4 and ASTP, and has been preserved at the Kennedy Space Center rocket garden.
Overview of most major experiments
The waste disposal equipment in the backup Skylab at the National Air and Space Museum.
A mannequin in the backup Skylab at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum.
Skylab commemorative stamp, issue of 1974. The commemorative stamp reflects initial repairs to the station, including the parasol sunshade.
Illustration of Skylab configuration with docked command and service module
Vanguard (T-AGM-19) seen as a NASA Skylab tracking ship. Note the tracking radar and telemetry antennas.
Robbins medallions issued for Skylab missions.
Space Center Houston Skylab 1-G Trainer mannequin.
A mannequin alongside the Skylab 1-G Trainer telescope at Manned Space Center, Houston.
A mannequin in the Skylab 1-G Trainer at Manned Space Center, Houston.
The main module S-IVB is a section of the Saturn V rocket.

A permanent station was planned starting in 1988, but funding for this was canceled and replaced with United States participation in an International Space Station in 1993.

Zvezda (ISS module)

Zvezda heads into orbit aboard a Proton launch vehicle on July 12, 2000
Expedition 43 crew celebrate a birthday in Zvezda module, 2015
Sprouts in the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2/Lada-2 (Plants-2) experiment aboard Zvezda.
Progress docked to Zvezda (aft view)
Zvezda aft. Items in the image include a crucifix, two icons, a telephoto camera lens, a camera flash, a zoom camera lens, other camera lenses, laptop computers with music playback software, a picture of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, external speakers for a laptop computer, a picture of Yuri Gagarin, a Russian flag, a spaceplane model, a picture of Saint Petersburg, a fluorescent light fitting, several crew patches, and an oscillimeter (combined oscilloscope and multimeter).
ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi firing thrusters while approaching
Soyuz TMA-7 arrives at ISS. It was docked with Zvezda in 2006, but also spent time docked with Pirs and Zarya
Zvezda docked with Progress M1-3
Zvezda{{'}}s space toilet
Forward view of interior of Zvezda
Part of the galley
Crewmembers celebrating Christmas in Zvezda
View of one of the Zvezda crew quarters
Cosmonaut in Zvezda, November 2000.
Expedition 37 crew in Zvezda
Roman Romanenko at a window in Zvezda
Zvezda Service Module being manufactured at the Khrunichev factory
PMA-2, Unity Node 1, PMA-1, Zarya FGB, Zvezda Service Module, and Progress M1-3.
The location of Zvezda in the Russian Orbital Segment
Sunrise in orbit overlooking Zvezda and its solar array
Russian Orbital Segment windows
Zvezda nadir docking port where Pirs and Nauka were docked
Zenith docking port on Zvezda where Poisk had docked

Zvezda (Звезда, meaning "star"), Salyut DOS-8, also known as the Zvezda Service Module, is a module of the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX Dragon 2

Crew Dragon Launch Configuration
Crew Dragon C204 in the LC-39A Horizontal Integration Facility in December 2018 preparing for the launch of DM-1
The Crew Dragon mockup (background) and four of the astronauts of its first two crewed missions (foreground), from left to right: Douglas Hurley, Robert Behnken, Michael Hopkins, and Victor Glover
Pad abort test of a Dragon 2 article on 6 May 2015 at CCAFS, SLC-40
Launch of Demo-1, Crew Dragon's maiden spaceflight
Liftoff of Crew Dragon in-flight abort test
SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour as it approached the International Space Station
Endeavour capsule being recovered after splashdown

Dragon 2 is a class of partially reusable spacecraft developed and manufactured by American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, primarily for flights to the International Space Station (ISS).


Japanese national air and space agency.

JAXA Kibo, the largest module of the ISS.
H-IIA F19 launch
Artist's concept of Japan's Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) spacecraft, planned for launch in 2024.
The Spacelab-J shuttle flight, funded by Japan, included several tons of Japanese science research equipment
A view of the completed Kibō module of the ISS.

Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. This is the center of Japan's space network. It is involved in research and development of satellites and rockets, and tracking and controlling of satellites. It develops experimental equipment for the Japanese Experiment Module ("Kibo"). Training of astronauts also takes place here. For International Space Station operations, the Japanese Flight Control Team is located at the Space Station Integration & Promotion Center (SSIPC) in Tsukuba. SSIPC communicates regularly with ISS crewmembers via S-band audio.

Progress (spacecraft)

Russian expendable cargo spacecraft.

Progress logistics resupply spacecraft. It consists of the dry cargo module (left); the tanker compartment (center); and a stretched service module (right).
Diagram of exterior of the Progress-M logistics resupply spacecraft
Diagram of interior of the Progress-M spacecraft
Launch of Progress M-11M
The Progress M1-3 seen docked at the bottom of the Zvezda module of the ISS during STS-106.

Progress has supported space stations as early as Salyut 6 and as recently as the International Space Station (ISS).

Low Earth orbit

Earth-centered orbit near the planet, often specified as having an orbital period of 128 minutes or less (making at least 11.25 orbits per day) and an eccentricity less than 0.25.


The International Space Station is in a LEO about 400 km to 420 km above Earth's surface, and needs re-boosting a few times a year due to orbital decay.

Space tourism

Human space travel for recreational purposes.

The first space tourist, Dennis Tito (left) aboard the ISS
Space tourist Mark Shuttleworth
Two Japanese tourists on the ISS (on the sides, 2021)

During the period from 2001 to 2009, seven space tourists made eight space flights aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, brokered by Space Adventures in conjunction with Roscosmos and RSC Energia.


State corporation of the Russian Federation responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research.

Headquarters in Moscow
Patch of the Russian Space Agency, 1991–2004
Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov on EVA (February 2012)
The Zarya module was the first module of the ISS, launched in 1998.
The Galenki RT-70 radio telescope, it is among the largest single dish radio telescopes in the world.
Sergei Korolev, the mind behind the first satellite, the first craft to deliver a human into orbit, and the craft from which the first spacewalk was performed.
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly in space and to orbit the Earth.
Cosmonaut Gherman Titov, the first man to orbit the Earth multiple times and to spend over 24 hours in space.
Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first person to perform a spacewalk.
Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to fly in space.
Vostok was the first spacecraft to carry a human being in space.
Voskhod was the first spacecraft capable of carrying more than 1 cosmonaut.
Soyuz is the longest-serving crewed spacecraft design in history (1967– ), upgraded regularly.
Progress is the longest-serving uncrewed cargo spacecraft (1978– ).
The Soviet space program produced the canceled Space Shuttle Buran based on the discontinued Buran program.
Soyuz rockets are responsible for launching all Soyuz and Progress spacecraft into space.
Proton rockets are the heavylift workhorse of Russian space industry.
First permanently crewed and "third-generation" space station, the Soviet/Russian Mir, which orbited the Earth from 1986 until 2001.
Russia and the US are the main partners of the International Space Station (ISS).
The TNA-70 radio telescope is operational and is located in Crimea (Russian-annexed, internationally recognised as part of Ukraine).
The RT-64 with its their 64m antenna diameter. It is located in Kalyazin.
The RT-70 antenna dish aerial taken from the NASA satellites.
The Yevpatoria RT-70 radio telescope
The transmitting arrays at the Pluton complex in Crimea.

Scientific missions, such as interplanetary probes or astronomy missions during these years played a very small role, and although the agency had connections with the Russian aerospace forces, its budget was not part of Russia's defense budget; nevertheless, the agency managed to operate the Mir space station well past its planned lifespan, contributed to the International Space Station, and continued to fly Soyuz and Progress missions.