International Space Station

In the early 1980's, the International Space Station (ISS) was only an idea on paper. Today, the ISS is a result of sixteen international partners working together to create a world-class, state-of-the-art orbiting research facility.

The ISS provides scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs an opportunity to perform complex experiments over long periods of time in a space environment. But, it is much more; it is an international "city in space" - a place where we will learn how to live and work "off planet."

Some facts about the International Space Station

There are excellent photographs and statistical information at - and then go to the "facts" - a downloadable pdf.

International Space Station Statistics

Statistic   Updated
Perigee 347.9 km June 17, 2005
Apogee 354.1 km June 17, 2005
Orbital period 91.55 minutes June 17, 2005
Orbits per day 15.73 June 17, 2005
Average speed 7.69 km/s (27,685.7 km/h)  
Pressure ~757 mmHg (100 kPa)  
Oxygen ~162.4 mmHg (22 kPa)  
Carbon Dioxide ~4.8 mmHg (640 Pa)  
Temperature ~26.9°C  
Major Elements  
Zarya: launched Nov. 20, 1998
Unity: attached Dec. 8, 1998
Zvezda: attached July 25, 2000
Z1 Truss: attached Oct. 14, 2000
P6 Integrated attached Dec. 3, 2000
Destiny: attached Feb. 10, 2001
Canadarm2: attached April 22, 2001
Joint Airlock: attached July 15, 2001
Pirs: attached Sept. 16, 2001
S0 Truss: attached April 11, 2002
S1 Truss: attached Oct. 10, 2002
P1 Truss: attached Nov. 26, 2002
P3/P4 Truss: attached Sept. 12, 2006
P5 Truss: attached Dec. 12, 2006
Harmony: attached Oct. 26, 2007
Columbus: attached Feb. 11, 2008
Kibo (ELM-PS): attached March 14, 2008
Kibo (JPM): attached June 3, 2008
S6 Truss: attached March 19, 2009
Poisk: attached Nov. 12, 2009
Iss Flights  
American 31 space shuttle flights
Russian 2 Proton flights
  20 Soyuz Crew flights
  2 Soyuz assembly flights
  35 Progress resupply flights
European 1 automated transfer vehicle flight
Japanese 1 H-11 Transfer vehicle flight
Shuttle-based 28
ISS-based 108
Total time 850+ hours
Crew Support  
Weight 2 722 kg of supplies per expedition
In Flight 6 crew members
Ground 100 000 + personnel
Contractors 500
Countries 16
Meal Consumption approximately 20 000


Some good links to provide more information about the ISS for STUDENTS (and many of them have teacher information as well) include:

CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY (this is an excellent link which has the tracking map for the ISS and also an excellent diagram showing the stages of development)


Tracking the International Space Station

Other International Space Station resources