In November of 2013, humanity’s first international effort to place mankind in permanent orbit above our planet was accomplished. On the back of a Proton type rocket, the first segment of an ambitious endeavour was launched and placed 230 miles (370 km) above the planet’s surface. Since then, the International Space Station has accomplished hundreds of scientific mission and has made breakthroughs in the way we understand the universe.
Originally born in the murky times of the 1980s and the cold war, The I.S.S. started out as a the Freedom project to counteract the Soviet Mir station and in 1984 the European Space Agency was invited to participate. It was not until 1993, that Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin announced the creation of “international” space station.
Since the first module was launched in November of 1998, fifteen countries have participated in building the station and over a thousand experiments have been run by the many scientific modules that had been included. It has been considered one of the first and best examples of national cooperation as many of the different sections were funded and built by a nation. Even with it’s six man multi-national crew, the station is considered one of the most important pieces to space exploration that is presently in operation.
The International Space Station was originally only designed with a lifespan of a few years, but has broken records by being in use today. Even now, plans are in the work for the breakdown of the station and de-orbit of some pieces while others will be the building blocks for a new nation that would lead the way in to the first manned missions into the solar system. No matter the fate of this famous station, it’s contributions to the scientific community and as monument to the mutual cooperation, the importance of this station will not soon be forgotten.