International Space Station (ISS)
This image of the International Space Station (ISS) was photographed by one of the crewmembers of the STS-112 mission following separation from the Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis as the orbiter pulled away from the ISS. The primary payloads of this mission, International Space Station Assembly Mission 9A, were the Integrated Truss Assembly S1 (S-One), the Starboard Side Thermal Radiator Truss, and the Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart to the ISS. The S1 truss provides structural support for the orbiting research facility's radiator panels, which use ammonia to cool the Station's complex power system. The S1 truss was attached to the S0 (S Zero) truss, which was launched on April 8, 2002 aboard the STS-110, and flows 637 pounds of anhydrous ammonia through three heat-rejection radiators. The truss is 45-feet long, 15-feet wide, 10-feet tall, and weighs approximately 32,000 pounds. The CETA cart was attached to the Mobil Transporter and will be used by assembly crews on later missions. Manufactured by the Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California, the truss primary structure was transferred to the Marshall Space Flight Center in February 1999 for hardware installations and manufacturing acceptance testing. The launch of the STS-112 mission occurred on October 7, 2002, and its 11-day mission ended on October 18, 2002.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a habitable space station in low Earth orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 mi). It completes 15.54 orbits per day. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest man-made body in low Earth orbit. The ISS consists of many pressurized modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. The ISS is a space research laboratory, the testing ground for technologies and systems required for missions to the Moon and Mars. The station has been continuously occupied for 16 years and 201 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. This is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. The station is serviced by a variety of visiting spacecraft: the Russian Soyuz and Progress, the American Dragon and Cygnus, the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, and formerly the Space Shuttle and the European Automated Transfer Vehicle. It has been visited by astronauts, cosmonauts and space tourists from 17 different nations.