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NASA's International Space Station site has ISS news and status reports, information on US, Russian, and other nations' modules, an ISS photo, video, & interactive media gallery including a virtual reality tour, and more. The Station pages have moved to a new URL recently, but the old pages aren't gone yet.
Animated ISS Construction Timeline
Space Station Photo & Video Gallery
Current Space Station Postion Tracking
ISS Evolution Data Book: Baseline Design (2000)
is the real deal, a 222-page, 3.32 MB .pdf
ISS Technical Configuration 1-page .pdf
shows all major components of the ISS.
ISS Assembly Overview a 9-page, 2.15 MB .pdf
Shuttle Press Kit: ISS Overview
More NASA ISS Reference resources
Major International Space Station Components1. Zarya, or "Functional Cargo Block" (FGB)
Nov 20, 1998 launch by Russia on Proton
42,600 lbs (19,323kg), 41.2' x 13.5' (12.6m x 4.1m)
- solar arrays provide 3 kW
- used for storage & 16 fuel tanks (6 tons capacity)
- orbital change & attitude control engines
- Soyuz/Progress docking ports
- US paid $220 million for Zarya
see also: astronautix: Zarya
2. Node 1 or "Unity" (.pdf)
Dec 4, 1998 launch by US on Endeavour STS-88
25,600 lbs, 18' x 15' (5.5m x 4.6m)
- 121 electrical cables; 216 fluid & gas lines
- is a connecting passageway with 6 ports:
3. Zvezda Service Module
July 12, 2000 launch by Russia on Proton
42,000 lbs (19,051kg), 43' (13.1m)
based on Mir core module, built for Mir 2
- took over attitude control & reboost from Zarya
- 4 attitude control gyroscopes
- living quarters, 13 windows, three 9", one 16"
- has Data Management System from ESA
- has an EVA airlock and 4 docking ports:
• open (Universal Docking Module)
• open (Science Power Platform-- cancelled)
see also: astronautix.com: Zvezda
Russian Space Web: Zvezda
Space.ref JSC Zvezda layout .pdfs: x - y - z
Zvezda Press Kit 50 page, 1.17 MB .pdf
4. Z-1 Truss
Oct 11, 2000 launch by US on Discovery STS-92
- temporary mount on Node 1 for US solar array
5. Photovoltaic Power Module (P6)
Nov 30, 2000 launch by US on Endeavour STS-97
- Two 115' x 38' solar arrays, 66,000 solar cells
- generates up to 64 kW of electricity
6. Destiny Lab
Feb 7, 2001 launch by US on Shuttle STS-98
32,000 lbs (14,500 kg), 28' x 14' (8.5m x 4.3m)
- holds up to 13 73" x 42" ISPR experiment racks
- eleven additional racks hold support systems
7. CanadArm 2
Apr 19, 2001 launch by US on Endeavour STS-100
- remote manipulator arm
8. Quest Joint Airlock
Feb 7, 2001 launch by US on Shuttle STS-104
13,368 lbs, 18' x 13'
- can accomodate US or Russian space suits
see also: SpaceRef: Quest Airlock
9. Pirs Docking Compartment (DC-1)
Sep 14, 2001 launch by Russia on Soyuz
7,893 lbs (3,580 kg), 16' x 8.4' (4.91m x 2.55m)
- docking for cargo vehicles, transfers propellants
between Progress-Soyuz & Zvezda-Zarya
- airlock for Russian Orlan spacesuits
- to be replaced by Universal Docking Module
11. Mobile Base System
Jun 5, 2002 launch by US on Endeavour STS-100
- mobile base for CanadArm 2
Integrated Truss Structure
10. S0 Truss
Apr 8, 2002 launch by US on Atlantis STS-110
12. S1 Starboard Truss
Oct 7, 2002 launch by US on Atlantis STS-112
13. P1 Port Truss
Nov 23, 2002 launch by US on Endeavour STS-113
Other ISS ElementsNASA Harmony Node 2 (built by ESA) connects to Destiny, Columbus, Centrifuge Accommodation Module, Kibo, Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and H II Transfer Vehicle. It also provides a working base point for the Space Station Remote Manipulator System.
European Space Agency (ESA) contributions to the ISS include the European Columbus Laboratory, and the Automated Transfer Vehicle (Jules Verne).
ESA Columbus Lab - brochure, .pdf
ESA Node 3 will connect to Node 1, Crew Return Vehicle, Cupola, Pressurised Mating Adapter 3 and Habitation Module
European Robotic Arm for Russian segment ops
The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) KIBO, built by JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, was added to the ISS in 2008. JAXA is also providing the Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM).
ISS Logistics: Space Station Cargo CarriersESA Automated Transfer Vehicle - brochure, .pdf
Russian Soyuz-based Progress M and M1
NASA Progress page
Spacehab Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), .pdf
Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM)
See also: Orion MPCV & SLS Launch Vehicle | NASA | Intl Progs & LVs
Space Shuttle | STS-107 Columbia | Mars | Planets
NASA Subdomain Search & Links | Aviation
Commercial Crew VehicleNASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office is currently funding the development of several competing commercial spacecraft which would be used to deliver crews and supplies to and from the International Space Station. NASA's own spacecraft, the Orion MPCV, is intended for use on missions to asteroids, the Moon, and possibly Mars, although it might be used on trips to the ISS if necessary.
The SpaceX Dragon is a capsule-type spacecraft which they will deliver atop their own Falcon 9 launch vehicle (which successfully reached orbit in 2010). SpaceX says their manned spacecraft might be ready for use by 2014. SpaceX already has a NASA contract to resupply the International Space Station with a cargo-only version of Dragon, which underwent orbital tests on December 8, 2010. The Dragon flight to the ISS is to be launched on November 30, 2011 and arrive at the ISS 9 days later.
The Boeing CST-100 (being developed in conjuction with Bigelow Aerospace) is a capsule-type spacecraft which would utilize an Atlas V launch vehicle. The CST-100 is expected to be operational by 2015.
Sierra Nevada Space Systems is developing a runway-landing spacecraft called the Dream Chaser, a lifting body based on the NASA HL-20 design. The Dream Chaser would also utilize an Atlas V launch vehicle, and is also expected to be ready by 2015.
Blue Origin, funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is developing a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) vertical take off and landing type vehicle (and crew capsule) called the New Shephard, which is similar to the McDonnell DC-X Delta Clipper. However, the vehicle currently under development is strictly suborbital, and thus of limited utility. The New Shephard is expected to be operational between 2016 and 2018.
(July 17, 2005) An article in the Houston Chronicle summarizes the history of the ISS, it's current status, its future, and its reliance on the Space Shuttle. The station, begun in 1998, is only half-finished. With Space Shuttles inoperational, the ISS has a crew of 2 instead of the intended 6, keeping the crew occupied with maintenance chores instead of research. NASA now proposes that operation of the ISS, originally referred to as a "permanent" space station, be terminated in 2017.
Space Station Search: The DMOZ Open Directory searches for keywords in website titles and descriptions (not page content). You can limit your search to the Space Station links category, or search all space or science links.
The Space Station Launch Site Homepage from NASA's Kennedy Space Center explains the launch center's role in preparing ISS payloads for flight, and includes webcam images of the ISS payload processing facilities.
NASA Space Station Science Operations News
International Space Station Amateur Telescope is a plan to mount a telescope on the ISS to be remotely operated by time-sharing amateur astronomers.
Major International Space Station ContractorsUS: Boeing
Italy: Alenia Spazio
Russia: Energia photos - videos.
Canada: MDA Robotics
Space Station ArticlesRalpha: Russian American Space Cooperation is a 1993 article by John Pike explaining why the US got involved with Russian modules and crews for the ISS.
Missed Deadlines is a 1998 Scientific American article by Alan Hall on late Russian deliverys of key ISS components.
Other Space Station SitesSpaceRef's excellent "Space Station Users Guide" includes ISS Element Drawings.
How Stuff Works: Space Stations is an easy-to-understand article by Craig Freudenrich on the ISS and its subsystems for life support, propulsion, communications, etc., very good for novices.
CNN: City in Space includes current news, and quick links to past ISS news articles, plus ISS animations and IPIX 3-D images.
Space Today: Space Stations
Space Station HistoryEncyclopedia Astronautica presents a comprehensive historical look at the conceptual development of US Space Stations, from Wernher von Braun's doughnut, to the present ISS, with many images. Very good for connoisseurs.
Russian Space Web has extensive Salyut, Almaz, Mir, and ISS information.
Zarya also has Salyut, Mir, & early ISS info.
NASA Books (NASA Special Publications) & NASA Articles Online
International Space Station Books (ISS Books)|
NASA ISS Evolution Data Book: Baseline Design SP-6109 (2000), is the real deal, a 222-page, 2.15 MB .pdf
NASA ISS Assembly Overview 2.15 MB .pdf
Orlan Space Suit Operations, a 72-page 2.1 MB .pdf file,
is a user's manual for the Russian Orlan EVA Space Suit, from Energia via SpaceRef.com
Zvezda Life Support Systems, a 54-page 828 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Atmosphere Revitalization Subsystem, a 104-page 2.1 MB .pdf file,
Zvezda Control and Navigation, a 70-page 879 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Power Supply, a 37-page 712 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Communications, a 57-page 608 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Thermal Control, a 53-page 421 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Video and Audio, a 40-page 518 KB .pdf file,
Zvezda Maintenance: Installation/Deinstallation, a 58-page, 1.29 MB .pdf file,
are user's manuals for the Russian Zvezda module, from Energia via SpaceRef.com
Russian Segment Operations, a 81-page, 3.51 MB .pdf file,
Russian Segment Activation, a 74-page, 547 KB .pdf file,
are user's manuals for the Russian ISS Segment, via SpaceRef.com
Together in Orbit: The Origins of International Participation in the Space Station,
Monograph 11, is a 56-page .pdf file.
ISS Phase I: Shuttle-Mir Program Joint Report, SP-6108 (1999),
is a 324-page, 4.64 MB .pdf file.
Engineering Challenges to the Long-Term Operation of the International Space Station 2000, NRC
Skylab: A Chronology SP-4011 (1977)
Skylab: Our First Space Station SP-400 (1977)
Skylab: A Guidebook EP-107
Living and Working in Space: A History of Skylab SP-4208 (1978)
Skylab: Classroom in Space SP-401 (1977)
Skylab's Astronomy and Space Sciences SP-404 (1979)
A New Sun: The Solar Results from Skylab SP-402 (1979)
over 100 NASA online books are listed on the NASA News page
|Orbiter is a freeware Space Shuttle (and other spacecraft) flight simulator. Launch the Shuttle to deploy a satellite or rendezvous with the ISS. "The emphasis is firmly on realism, and the learning curve can be steep." Free plugins allow Orbiter to simulate Mercury & Gemini missions & more. Orbiter is totally free, though author Martin Schweiger will accept donations. screenshots|
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