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26,500 meals, 1,760 experiments, 189 spacewalks: the ISS turns 15

Shweta Sengar | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 7:38 IST

The International Space Station is celebrating its 15th birthday. It was in November 2000 that the first batch of humans blasted off on a Suyuz spacecraft in order to live on the artificial satellite.

William Shepherd, Sergie Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko were the first humans to reach ISS and accomplish a successful docking on 2 November, 2000.

NASA explains in a post, "That's 15 Thanksgivings, New Years, and holiday seasons astronauts have spent away from their families. 15 years of constant support from Mission Control Houston. And 15 years of peaceful international living in space."

Here are some fascinating facts in numbers about the ISS on its 15th anniversary:

350
kilometres

This the distance of the ISS from the Earth. A breathtaking view, indeed.

ISS-Earth.jpg

110
metres

Or approximately the size of an average American football field. That's how large the International Space Station is.

ISS_Size-NASA.jpg

220

People representing 17 countries have visited the space station. USA has sent the most number of people onboard the ISS, followed by Russia. Interestingly, at least one Russian and one American have been on board the ISS at the same time - a testament of the international cooperation the station has seen.

ISS-Astronauts.jpg

27,600.25
kmph

That is the speed at which the ISS orbits the Earth. The space station can often be seen by the naked eye.

ISS-file.jpg

File photo

1,00,000

and more. This is the number of people involved in space agencies and at 500 contractor facilities across 37 states of the US and 14 other countries.

NASA-control.jpg

450
tonnes

That's the mass of the current structure of the ISS. It also shares an almost equal pressurised volume as that of the Boeing 747.

Boeing_747.jpg

26,500

The total number of meals that have been served on the ISS. Approximately 7 tonnes of supplies are needed to support a crew for about 6 months.

ISS-eating_in_space.png

1,760

That's the number of experiments that have been carried out by the ISS.

ISS-experiments.jpg

189

The total number of spacewalks undertaken so far, according to NASA. The 190th spacewalk is due on Friday, 6 November.

spacewalk-NASA.jpg

Photo: NASA

20

Objects with 13 different designs have been printed by a 3D printer onboard the ISS. This also includes a ratchet wrench.

nasa-3d-printing-iss.jpg

13

That's the number of rooms on the ISS. There were only three rooms in the early days.

Nasa administrator Charles Bolden called the 15-year milestone "a remarkable moment 5,478 days in the making".

"It has taught us about what's possible when tens of thousands of people across 15 countries collaborate to advance shared goals," he said.

First published: 3 November 2015, 2:34 IST
 
Shweta Sengar @ShwetaSengar

Shweta covers Science & Technology for Catch Live at Catch News, scouring the Internet to bring readers items of interest, both serious and amusing. A foodie, photography enthusiast and globetrotter, she has also worked at The Economic Times before joining the Catch team. She studied Commerce at Kanpur University and has a PGD in Advanced Journalism from YMCA, New Delhi.

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