The International Space Station

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The design of the ISS has changed repeatedly, even after its construction finally got underway. The design set in place by early in the new millennium was a hybrid of elements from NASA's original Freedom station and the Russian "Mir 2", with international contributions from Europe, Japan, and Canada. The station is dominated by the central truss that runs out from Node 1 along the entire length of the station. Sections of truss on the station's starboard (right) side as seen from Zvezda are given the designations S1 to S6 as they run out from the central ZO and SO trusses. The solar-array wings take the name of the truss to which they are attached, and the system is mirrored by port sections P1 to P6 on the left side.

antenna

Zvezda service module with main living quarters docking compartment

Zarya Functional Cargo Block -initial operating systems and storage starboard solar photovoltaic arrays - each wing pair is 34m (112ft) long, 12m (39ft) wide, and generates 32.8k W of electricity service module . micrometeoroid/orbitol debris (MMOD) shield deployment mast radiators for thermal regulation auxiliary solar array

S3/4 truss segment

FGB-2 would have /

added further expansion options including Russian research and life support modules

JEM Remote Manipulator System services Exposed Focility and Logistics Module movoble JEM Experiment Logistics Module

SO truss segment

PI truss segment mobile servicing system with Canadorm attached

US Destiny Laboratory Module

ESA Cupolo radiator external airlock

Node 1

Node 3, containing life-support, woste, and recycling facilities

JEM Exposed Facility - a "terrace" for experiments that require exposure to experiment racks

Japanese Experiment Module OEM or Kibo) - pressurized module

European Space Agency Columbus laboratory module, with external experiment racks

Italian-built Node 2 "utility hub", containing life-support and electrical systems

JEM Exposed Facility - a "terrace" for experiments that require exposure to

space

crew

6 when complete

length

108.5m (356ft)

wioth

72.8m (239ft)

total mass

420,623kg (927,3161b)

habitable volume

408 cubic m (14,400cu ft)

solar array area

3,023 square m (32,528sq ft)

power

80 kilowatts

first assembly launch

20 November 1998

final construction launch 2010 (scheduled)

first assembly launch

20 November 1998

THE ISS VISION

This illustration shows the agreed ISS configuration (the Alpha design, which briefly gave the station its name) as construction began in the late 1990s. Despite the Columbia disaster, the only major change since then has been the loss of the FGB-2 module (identical to Zarya) - a decision mode by the Russian Space Agency.

port photovoltaic arrays

P3/P4 truss segment

P6 truss segment

Canadorm 2 - the ISS's principle robot arm

Canadian Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM)

final construction launch 2010 (scheduled)

POWER IN SPACE

(Top) In order to regulate power to the ISS, the solar arrays must be able to swivel and face the Sun at all times. During Atlantis's STS-115 mission in September 2006, a spacewalk by Daniel Burbank (pictured) and Steve MacLean prepared the Solar Array Rotary Joint mechanism for operation.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

(Above) The chief purpose of STS-115 was to install the P3/P4 section of the station's main truss, along with its solar arrays. Here astronaut Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper works on the underside of the truss during the third and final spacewalk of the flight.

USING CANADARM

(Right) Burbank and MacLean hitch a ride on the Mobile Base System that allows the ISS's Canadian-built robot arm to move along the central trusses. An updated version of the RMAs used on the Shuttle, the Canadarm can be operated from inside the Destiny laboratory or by a spacewalking astronaut.

Ik A

FINAL APPROACH

The docking adapter on the US Destiny laboratory looms large in this photograph token from Endeavour seconds before it docked with the ISS in June 2002, bringing a new station crew to relieve Expedition 4.

FINAL APPROACH

The docking adapter on the US Destiny laboratory looms large in this photograph token from Endeavour seconds before it docked with the ISS in June 2002, bringing a new station crew to relieve Expedition 4.

ISS expeditions

Since the first crew arrived in October 2000, the International Space Station has been continuously manned. As well as ongoing construction, the astronauts aboard work on a wide variety of scientific experiments.

Long-duration stays aboard the ISS are known as expeditions. Each typically lasts around six months, during which the station's crew will often welcome visitors on either the

2 November 2000

The first crew of the International Space Station arrives aboard Soyuz TM-31.

10 March 2001

The crew of Expedition 2 arrives aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. The station's first handover is accomplished.

30 April 2001

The ISS welcomes Dennis Tito, the first of several space tourists on visiting Soyuz missions.

8 October 2001

The first spacewalk by ISS astronauts takes place to attach the Russian Pirs docking module.

26 April 2003

Following the loss of Columbia, Soyuz TMA-2 brings the Expedition 7 crew to the ISS, and the station is temporarily reduced to two crew members.

6 July 2006

The return of Discovery to the ISS brings a resumption of three-person crews. The new crew member, German Thomas Reiter, is also ESA's first ISS astronaut.

BIOGRAPHY

MICHAEL FOALE

British-born Michael Foale (b.1957) is one of NASA's most experienced space-station astronauts, having spent time on Mir in 1997 as well as commanding Expedition 8 to the ISS. After studying physics and astrophysics in the UK, Foale moved to Houston, joining the staff at Johnson Space Center in 1983. He was selected i for astronaut training in 1987 and has also flown on Space Shuttle missions STS-63 (Discovery's "near i Mir" mission) and STS-103 L (replacing the HST's B steering gyroscopes).

DESTINY LABORATORY

Astronaut James Voss of Expedition 2 works in the US laboratory module, as visiting astronaut Scott Horowitz floats through the hatchway from the Unity module.

FIRST HANDOVER

Shuttle astronaut Andrew Thomas enjoys the view of ISS from Discovery during its approach to the station in March 2001. This STS-102 mission saw the handover between the crews of Expeditions 1 and 2.

Space Shuttle or the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. While the station is largely incomplete, each expedition is limited to three people (scaled back to just two following the Columbia disaster - see p.297). But as more space becomes available, the crew will rise to six.

Early expeditions

The first expedition set a pattern for other early crews. The commander was NASA astronaut William Shepherd, while the other two crew members were Russian - Sergei Krikalev (see p.297) and Yuri Gidzenko. Arriving on Soyuz TM-31, they spent most of their four-month flight getting the ISS fully operational and carrying out assembly tasks (see over). In February 2001, they welcomed the crew of Atlantis and the US Destiny laboratory module. March saw Discovery arrive, bringing with it the Expedition 2 crew of Yuri Usachev, Susan

FIRST HANDOVER

Shuttle astronaut Andrew Thomas enjoys the view of ISS from Discovery during its approach to the station in March 2001. This STS-102 mission saw the handover between the crews of Expeditions 1 and 2.

Helms, and James Voss (one cosmonaut and two astronauts). As well as construction work, they carried out experiments on how to protect spacefarers from radiation. In April, they were joined by the crew of Soyuz TM-32, including Dennis Tito, the first space tourist (see p.308). In August, a new crew arrived from Discovery and spent four-months concentrating largely on science. Expeditions 4 and 5 increased the station's scientific workload during their six-month missions (December 2001-June 2002 and June-November 2002), doubling the number of experiments carried onboard and receiving some of the first scientific payloads from private companies. The launch of the Expedition 6 crew saw the debut of a new class of Soyuz spacecraft, the Soyuz TMA, upgraded largely to accommodate taller passengers.

Throughout this period, the station continued to grow, with the addition of airlock modules, the first elements of the station's main truss, and the station's main robot arm, Canadarm2.

MIR LIVES ON

A view into the Zvezda Service Module on the ISS shows the stations's main crew quarters. Zvezda began life as the core of the Mir 2 station and follows a design that dotes back to the Salyuts.

Back to basics

The period of expansion came to an abrupt halt two months into Expedition 6, as the loss of Columbia deprived the station of its main supply vehicle and construction tool (see p.296). With the station cut back to a crew of two and forced to rely on smaller Russian spacecraft alone, Expeditions 7 to 11 were dominated by the need to keep the ISS operational in its half-finished state - science temporarily had to take second place to routine maintenance and repair. The Space Shuttle finally returned to the ISS with Discovery's STS-114 "return to flight" mission in late July 2005, delivering supplies halfway through Sergei Krikalev and John

DESTINY LABORATORY

Astronaut James Voss of Expedition 2 works in the US laboratory module, as visiting astronaut Scott Horowitz floats through the hatchway from the Unity module.

HOUSE PLANTS

Some experiments are welcome outside the laboratory modules - plant propagators are a good example. Here, visiting Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne tends to a plant-growth experiment in the living quarters of the Zvezdo Service Module.

HOUSE PLANTS

Some experiments are welcome outside the laboratory modules - plant propagators are a good example. Here, visiting Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne tends to a plant-growth experiment in the living quarters of the Zvezdo Service Module.

TECHNOLOGY

ORBITING EDUCATORS

Ed Lu of Expedition 7 presented a series of Saturday Morning Science shows from the ISS that were shown back on Earth, demonstrating the effects of microgravity in the US Destiny laboratory.

Phillips's Expedition 11. However, this proved to be a false dawn, as continuing problems with the Shuttle led to another year-long grounding, and the crew of Expedition 12 also found themselves reliant on Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

IN THE QUEST AIRLOCK

(Right) The Quest Joint Airlock arrived on Atlantis in July 2001 and is a doorway to space for crew members in both Russian and US spacesuits. Expedition 4's Daniel Bursch (left) and Carl Walz are shown testing the airlock.

CRYSTALS IN SPACE

TECHNOLOGY

ORBITING EDUCATORS

Ed Lu of Expedition 7 presented a series of Saturday Morning Science shows from the ISS that were shown back on Earth, demonstrating the effects of microgravity in the US Destiny laboratory.

Phillips's Expedition 11. However, this proved to be a false dawn, as continuing problems with the Shuttle led to another year-long grounding, and the crew of Expedition 12 also found themselves reliant on Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

A growing crew

Discovery's successful second "return to flight", in July 2006, brought normality back to the ISS. German astronaut Thomas Reiter arrived on Discovery, joining Pavel Vinogradov and Jeffrey Williams (who had arrived on Soyuz TMA-8 three months previously) to bring the crew for Expedition 13 back up to three. Reiter, Europe's first ISS Expedition member, remained aboard after the handover to Expedition 14 in September: new Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria arrived with Mikhail Tyurin on a Soyuz and spent three months with Reiter before Discovery brought Sunita Williams to take his place.

Expeditions 15 and 16, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Space Age, see this more complex staggered schedule continue, as Shuttle construction missions interweave with Soyuz launches to ferry new crew members to and from the station. As more laboratory space becomes available, and the ISS crew eventually increases, the station's scientific work will finally dominate over the time spent on its construction and maintenance.

Some of the ISS's hardest-working pieces of equipment are the crystal growth experiments. Crystal growth in the microgravity conditions of orbit has become an important area of space-station science, since without the effects of gravity, crystals form quickly and with few imperfections. The kinds of crystals grown on the ISS vary from proteins to minerals, and are usually returned to Earth for research and analysis. Although large-scale orbital factories are not yet a reality, the ability to study "perfect" crystals can help to improve manufacturing j« methods here on Earth.

IN THE QUEST AIRLOCK

(Right) The Quest Joint Airlock arrived on Atlantis in July 2001 and is a doorway to space for crew members in both Russian and US spacesuits. Expedition 4's Daniel Bursch (left) and Carl Walz are shown testing the airlock.

CRYSTALS IN SPACE

EXPERIENCE

MANNING THE ISS

Expedition to "Alpha"

OFFICIAL PORTRAIT

William M. Shepherd, first commander of the International Space Station, and his crewmates Sergei Krikalev (left) and Yuri Gidzenko (right) pose in their Sokol spacesuits prior to launch.

ERUPTION FROM SPACE

When the Mexican volcano Popocatapetl began to belch smoke in late-January 2001, the Expedition One crew managed to snap this stunning photo as the space station's orbit carried them northeast of the mountain.

The first crew of the International Space Station had an arduous list of duties, firstly getting the linked Zarya, Zvezda, and Unity modules fully operational, and then preparing the station for scientific work.

"I think the air quality has been very good. I am surprised at the amount of air that gets moved through filters up here - it is pretty substantial. Anything we have that gets loose - food, things like that - they are in a filter in matter of a minute or two - it is pretty surprising. Odours? Non-existent. I am very surprised at how well all the environmental equipment has been working so far."

William Shepherd, interviewed by CNN, 18 December 2000

OFFICIAL PORTRAIT

William M. Shepherd, first commander of the International Space Station, and his crewmates Sergei Krikalev (left) and Yuri Gidzenko (right) pose in their Sokol spacesuits prior to launch.

Launched from Baikonur aboard Soyuz TM-31 on 31 October 2000, Shepherd, Krikalev and Gidzenko docked with the station on 2 November. A Shuttle mission had visited in the previous month and installed a variety of external fittings, including communications antennae and the Z1 truss. Life-support systems had also been activated, so the crew were able to open the hatch from their Soyuz, enter the station, and get straight to work. Expedition commander Shepherd, a naval man by training, was bothered by the ISS's lack of a name, so he requested during the first radio conversation that, at least for this mission, it should revert to its 1990s name of Alpha. NASA administrator Daniel Goldin acquiesced, to applause in Mission Control.

AT WORK IN ORBIT

After launch from Baikonur on a Soyuz rocket, the Expedition One crew settled in and began to get the ISS systems up and running. Communications were an early priority - the crew had to rely initially on Russian communications equipment, with corded headphones that restricted movement. By the time Atlantis arrived with the Destiny module in February 2001, things were starting to feel more homely.

ERUPTION FROM SPACE

When the Mexican volcano Popocatapetl began to belch smoke in late-January 2001, the Expedition One crew managed to snap this stunning photo as the space station's orbit carried them northeast of the mountain.

RETURN CEREMONY

(Left to right) Krikalev, Shepherd, and Gidzenko are feted upon their return to Earth at a reception at the Ellington Field Air Force Base near Houston.

RELIEVED

This scene of Discovery's tail section against clouds on Earth was photographed from aboard the station after STS-102 hod docked in March 2001, bringing with it a new crew for the ISS.

RELIEVED

This scene of Discovery's tail section against clouds on Earth was photographed from aboard the station after STS-102 hod docked in March 2001, bringing with it a new crew for the ISS.

11 We opened the hatches ... and it was very pleasant to find ourselves in a place ... with good, clean air.

Sergei Krikalev, 2 November 2000

For the first month, the crew were restricted to the two Russian modules - they did not have sufficient power to run the Unity module, and so it remained sealed up until Endeavour arrived in December, bringing with it the first of the huge solar arrays. However, there was plenty to do unpacking the large amounts of equipment, ranging from clothes to laptop computers, left behind by visiting Shuttle missions prior to their arrival - and more arrived on two Progress ferries during the expedition. Unity contained a similar stash of equipment when finally opened, and by the time this was all installed, the next Shuttle mission was approaching. The main aim of Atlantis's STS-98 mission in mid-February 2001 was to install the US Destiny module. There was plenty to do setting up the new laboratory, although it arrived without experiments aboard - the first of these arrived with Discovery on 10 March 2001. But that Shuttle also brought a new crew, and it would be their job to begin the station's scientific programme.

m... from all the people on the ground here in Houston and in Moscow and around the world [who] have supported you through this flight, it has been an honor and privilege, and you have our sincere thanks for your outstanding duty on Alpha. Your accomplishments are impressive. We witness your departure with both regret and happiness: regret because we will miss working with you; happiness because you are speeding home towards a reunion with family and friends and a well-deserved rest."

Cady Coleman, Capcom, 18 March 2001

RETURN CEREMONY

(Left to right) Krikalev, Shepherd, and Gidzenko are feted upon their return to Earth at a reception at the Ellington Field Air Force Base near Houston.

SPRING 2001

(Right) A burst of construction work began in late 2000 and saw the oddition of the Z1 truss (a temporary mounting point for the P6 truss and the first large solar array) as well as the Destiny laboratory and the Canadarm2 remote manipulator.

1998-2000

(Above) The initial building blocks of the ISS, Unity and Zarya, remained docked in orbit for 18 months awaiting the next stage of construction.

AUTUMN 2000

(Right) With the oddition of the long-delayed Zvezdo service module, the station was finally ready for occupation by the crew of Expedition 1.

AUGUST 2005

(Left) For three years, the station remained in limbo. When Shuttle flights were cancelled in the wake of the Columbia disaster, the

SEPTEMBER 2006

The construction of the ISS, shown in this sequence, has become a long process. A large truss and solar arrays were delivered in 2006 (above), while another truss is due in 2007.

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