The International Space Station acts like a laboratory with zero gravity revolving around the Earth high above its atmosphere, and it just celebrated its 20th anniversary. On November 2nd, 2000, the space station was deployed into outer space with the purpose of enabling long-term exploration.
The International Space Station has six state-of-the-art laboratories, and it’s four times larger and more capable than any other previous space station. ISS had a lot of interesting work to do, as the orbiting laboratory has hosted 241 astronauts belonging from 19 countries.
The International Space Station will retire within the next 15 years
NASA will likely deorbit the famous station by crashing it into the southern Pacific Ocean. But what could replace the ISS is not anybody’s guess. Blue Origin is one of the companies that could offer an alternative, as it wants to build new space accommodations for resembling life on Earth.
Axiom Space and Bigelow Aerospace are other worth-mentioning companies, as they plan to add extensions to the station that could be removed to orbit as their own habitats.
The ISS project represents an agreement made between five participating space agencies. The most famous one is obviously NASA from the United States. The other participants are ESA from Europe, Roscosmos from Russia, JAXA from Japan, as well as CSA from Canada. The first ISS component was launched way back in 1998, while the first residents arrived on November 2000. The station has been occupied for two decades, and this is the longest human presence in low Earth orbit. The previous record was held by the Mir space station: 9 years and 357 days.
The Universe is always there waiting for us to uncover its mysteries, although a human life will still never be enough if you want to find out all of the secrets of our physical reality.