International Space Station (ISS)
The STS-111 mission, the 14th Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station (ISS), was launched on June 5, 2002 aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour. On board were the STS-111 and Expedition Five crew members. Astronauts Kerneth D. Cockrell, commander; Paul S. Lockhart, pilot, and mission specialists Franklin R. Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin were the STS-111 crew members. Expedition Five crew members included Cosmonaut Valeri G. Korzun, commander, Astronaut Peggy A. Whitson and Cosmonaut Sergei Y. Treschev, flight engineers. Three space walks enabled the STS-111 crew to accomplish the delivery and installation of the Mobile Remote Servicer Base System (MBS), an important part of the Station's Mobile Servicing System that allows the robotic arm to travel the length of the Station, which is necessary for future construction tasks; the replacement of a wrist roll joint on the Station's robotic arm; and the task of unloading supplies and science experiments from the Leonardo multipurpose Logistics Module, which made its third trip to the orbital outpost. In this photograph, the Space Shuttle Endeavour, back dropped by the blackness of space, is docked to the pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA-2) at the forward end of the Destiny Laboratory on the ISS. A portion of the Canadarm2 is visible on the right and Endeavour's robotic arm is in full view as it is stretched out with the S0 (S-zero) Truss at its end.
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.