ISS (International Space Station)

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Cool facts about the ISS:

Total length: 108 meters.

Total width: 73 meters.

Time to orbit the earth: 91 minutes.

Astronauts see 16 sunrises and sunsets a day as the ISS orbits Earth once every 90 minutes.

The first piece of the ISS went up in 1998.

A crew has continuously lived on board since the year 2000.

Amazingly, the ISS appears as the third-brightest object in our sky after the Sun and Moon.

When complete, the ISS’s habitable volume will equal the size of a three-bedroom house.

There are two toilets on the Station, one Russian and one American.

Astronauts typically stay 6 months aboard the ISS per mission.

The parts of the ISS:

  • Modules and Nodes—These are the main areas of the ISS where astronauts live and conduct research.
  • The Truss—This acts as a support structure for the radiators and solar arrays.
  • Solar Arrays and Radiators—The arrays con-vert sunlight into power, while radiators cool the ISS by eliminating excess heat.

Five agencies built the ISS:

  • Nasa (United States)
  • Roscosmos (Russia)
  • CSA (Canada)
  • ESA (Europe)
  • JAXA (Japan)

There are 16 countries in the ISS:

  • The United States
  • Russia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Brazil

Here are examples of international foods served on board the ISS:

United States

  • Beverage: Coffee
  • Appetizer: Shrimp cocktail
  • Main course: Fajitas with black beans and rice
  • Dessert: Cherry/blueberry cobbler


  • Beverage: Apricot juice
  • Appetizer: Beet salad
  • Main course: Beef goulash with mashed potatoes and onion
  • Dessert: Honey cake


  • Beverage: Iced tea (lemon or orange)
  • Appetizer: Legumaise (mushroom truffle dip)
  • Main course: Duck breast confit with capers
  • Dessert: Rich chocolate cake


  • Beverage: Green or oolong tea
  • Appetizer: Soup with Wakame (seaweed)
  • Main course: Mackerel with Miso sauce and rice
  • Dessert: Sweet bread bean paste


  • Main course: Salmon
  • Dessert: Maple cookies
  • Snack: Berry fruit bars
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