The most expensive human construction in history - this is how ambitiously the International Space Station is described. And what sounds even more driving is that ISS is a symbol of cooperation in space as it is not owned by one nation but by Europe, the United States, Russia, Japan, and Canada.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the world's most extraordinary peaceful, cooperative initiative ever planned and implemented by human beings. Since the space age began in 1957, it has been the most politically complicated space program. The ISS program began in 1982, with spacecraft assembly starting in 1998.
“Ideally, the ISS program will just be one more incremental step on an expanding, incredible journal of exploration and understanding, taking us higher and farther.” - Ron Garan
And since then, the ISS has improved drastically. Over the years, space stations became the landmark of our vision about how nations can become one when they strive for the grand goal of exploring the universe. At the same time, space stations have expanded our knowledge of biology, physics, astronomy, and engineering. Space stations aren't just interesting from a scientific standpoint. They, like many other parts of society, are the subject of intense power competition, social interactions, and cooperation.
The International Space Station (ISS) took 12 years to build with support from 16 nations and has been populated continuously since November 2000. Over its lifespan, more than 2,400 experiments have been conducted by more than 230 visitors from 18 countries. The station's crew has logged over 1,300 extravehicular activity (EVA) hours on more than 217 spacewalks.
People have witnessed constant technological advancements, which are just the consequence of space access and research. Companies are employing microgravity at the edge of the human frontier to solve challenges here on Earth, and the ISS is the prime space R&D facility. With a trillion-dollar space economy on the horizon, the ISS has the potential to be a game-changer in the industry's development.