Year of 2017

The International Space Station

If you’d been aboard space shuttle Endeavour’s mission in 2011, you might’ve had a chance to snap a photo of the International Space Station, too. This was to have been the final mission for NASA’s lauded space shuttle program, and it was Endeavour’s swan song. But like a movie detective a few days from retirement, one last space shuttle mission was booked before the end of the year, and Atlantis got the job.

The International Space Station is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles.
Orbital height: 205 miles (330 km)
Orbital speed: 4.79 miles/s (7.71 km/s)
Launched: Nov 20, 1998
Missions sent there: Soyuz TMA-13M · Expedition 44 · Expedition 45
ISS configuration 2017-06
The components of the ISS in an exploded diagram, with modules on-orbit highlighted in orange, and those still awaiting launch in blue or pink