THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ISS 
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THE International Space Station comes from an american proposal that led to the signing of the Treaty on 28 January 1998 between the United States (NASA), RUSSIA (RosKosmos), eleven European countries including Italy (ESA), Japan (JAXA), CANADA (CSA). There is an agreement between ASI and NASA to develop three units for the logistic transport (Multi Purpose Logistics Module-MPLM) called Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello. Italy participates in the ISS program through a bilateral agreement with NASA and  ESA.

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The ISS is a reticular structure 98 m long, consisting of a set of pressurised modules assembled in orbit to a trunk (TRUSS) which provides the interconnections and control policies and are outfitted with solar panels (for electricity generation) and radiators (for excess heat dissipation).Also functional elements are mounted to the station including a Canadian robotic arm, a platforms for housing external payloads and experiments as scientific modules (ESA) Columbus and Kibo (JAXA). The modules are Nodes called interconnection between different pressurised modules and provide station docking points for support vehicles. Habitable space to work expected completed will be about 1300 cubic meters.

The ISS is the largest artificial satellite of the Earth that is connected to exchange supplies and crew by the Space Shuttle-NASA (crew/supplies/module MPLM), by Soyuz U with the Soyuz TMA (supplies/crew) and Progress (supplies) of RosKosmos, the Ariane 5 with the ATV Automated Transfer Vehicle (supplies) of ESA, by H-II with the HTV (supplies) of Jaxa.

 Proton

 Launch Zarya 

The ISS is orbiting (LEO) around the Earth with inclination 51.6 degrees to the Equator that crosses in about 91 minutes at an altitude that varies from a minimum of 330 Km to a maximum of 460 Km it needs a periodically boost to take altitude as it tends to go down

The station can be seen as a great laboratory where research studies are useful to develop the technologies needed to pursue space exploration, with important impact in our daily lives

                                Chronological analysis of the Assembly of the Iinternational Space Station since November 28, 1998 
 

ZARYA - (length 12.6 m, diameter 4.1 m, mass 19300 Kg) launched 11/20/1998 Proton rocket. The name means "Dawn" and is a functional cargo block with 3 docking ports (3 attachment points) 2 on each end and a station for docking side of Progress. Comes with 2 solar panels 10.6 m long and deep 3.35 m and 16 external tanks propellant

UNITY - NODE 1 - (5.49 m, length 4.57 m in diameter, mass 11610 Kg) launched 12/4/1998 by STS-88 Endeavour. It has 6 possible connection (src) which is associated with Zarya, the Destiny Laboratory Module (STS-98), Z1 Truss (STS-92), MPLM Leonardo or Raffaello , Quest Airlock (STS-104), and will be connected with NODE 3.

   

ZVEZDA - (13.1 m, length: 4.14 m, diameter 19070 mass Kg) launched 7/12/2000 by Proton rocket.The name means "Star, and it has been associated with Zarya. It is equipped with two engines which were used in order to take part to the ISS and 16 small thrusters to control small movements. Divided into three areas, it allows docking at the Soyuz and Progress but has a universal port.

 

The first expedition crew (Expedition 1) took place on 11/2/2000 (the astronaut William Shepherd, Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev Russia)

      Assembly first 3 blocks with Progress

 

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   (Photo credit ESA/NASA)

           Under ISS on 28/07/2009

  

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