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International Space Station (ISS)

Why is it in the news?

  • Russia and the United States agree to extend joint International Space Station (ISS) flights until 2025.

About International Space Station (ISS)

  • Large spacecraft orbiting Earth, serving as a habitat for astronaut and cosmonaut crews.
  • Key Partners: European Space Agency (ESA), NASA (United States), JAXA (Japan), CSA (Canada), and Roscosmos (Russia).
  • Launched in 1998, the first module named Zarya.
  • Weighs almost 400 tonnes, covering an area as large as a football pitch.
  • Built in space piece-by-piece through more than 40 missions.
  • Houses a unique science laboratory for critical research in fluids, combustion, life support systems, and radiation environments.
  • Orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 250 miles, completing one orbit every 90 minutes.

Significance of ISS

  • Provides a microgravity environment.
  • Enables crucial research that cannot be conducted elsewhere in areas such as fluids, combustion, life support systems, and radiation environments.
  • Plays a critical role in advancing human space exploration.

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