Mankind Celebrates Ten Years of Living in Space

Published by: dallaseste on 30th Nov 2010 | View all blogs by dallaseste
international-space-station.jpg

Mankind Celebrates Ten Years of Living in Space

November marks the tenth anniversary of humans living aboard the International Space Station, and NASA says at least another decade of exciting opportunities lies ahead.

The Space Station is located about 400 kilometers above the Earth, and has logged an estimated 2.4 billion kilometers in orbit around it.  Astronauts living there have conducted at least 600 separate experiments, and the Station has been visited by almost 200 people from 15 countries since it was first placed in orbit in November, 2000.  Yet the Station is still under construction.

The Discovery space shuttle is scheduled to deliver the final US module to the Station in the coming weeks.  Once that module is installed, the Station will contain roughly 340 cubic meters of living space.  Astronauts Shannon Walker and Doug Wheelock were aboard the vessel when it reached the tenth anniversary of continuous occupation on November 2nd, and expressed excitement that the US portion is almost completed.

As NASA prepares for its second decade of the Space Station, the agency is also preparing to say goodbye to another of its programs, the space shuttle fleet.  A spokesman for the agency says that experiments being conducted on the Space Station are producing a number of advances in medicine and recycling systems, as well as providing scientists with a better understanding of our solar system.  Scientists believe the lessons learned through experiments conducted there will one day allow us to send men to Mars and beyond.

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