History of Innovation

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1998: Creation of the International Space Station

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Image Credits: 1, 2

Innovation: International Space Station
Year: 1998
By: American, Russia, Japan, Europe, Canada Space Programs

First launched in 1998, the International Space Station (ISS)  is a modular structure consisting of external trusses and solar arrays. It serves as a research laboratory for biology, physics, astronomy, and other fields.  It is a joint project between American NASA, Russian Federal Space Agency, Japanese JAXA, European ESA, and Canadian CSA. During the original construction of the International Space Station in November of 1998, the beta angle (the percentage of orbit that the station is exposed to the sun) of the station had to be considered at all times. If the beta angle is too high, the space shuttle would not perform optimally.  The International Space Station spans the area of a US Football field (with end zones) when the solar array panels are included. [1] It is built around a truss that is composed of 12 segments. Modules, solar arrays, heat radiators are connected to this truss. [2] The ISS has been continuously inhabited since November 2, 2000. Materials that are developed for the International Space Station are built to improve performance while reduce fabrication and processing costs. Many of these materials are being used in buildings and structures here on earth as well as a variety of technological spin offs that we use in our everyday lives. [3] [4]

Animation of Assembly: 1

Design Concepts: 1


Written by Megan Shammo

November 7, 1998 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Space

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