The International Space Station: A home in the sky

Stationed 400 km above the earth's surface, the International Space Station (ISS) or the home in the sky circles the earth 16 times a day and has been doing so for the past twenty years | Photo - NASA

Did you know the third brightest object in the sky — after the sun and moon — is human-made? It is a 455-ton football-field-sized, marvelously engineered spacecraft — the International Space Station (ISS).

Stationed 400 km above the earth's surface, the ISS circles the earth 16 times a day and has been for the past twenty years.

Fifteen nations put their expertise together to build the ISS. It has grown over the years from a few modules to what it is today. As many as 241 people and 19 tourists belonging to several nations have visited the ISS so far. At all times, at least five people reside on this orbiting habitat.

Just as all things come to an end, the ISS may not be permanent. In the coming decade, the ISS will be deorbited to make way for a more challenging venture — the moon habitat.

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