A rearward view of the International Space Station backdropped by the limb of the Earth. In view are the station's four large, gold-coloured solar array wings, two on either side of the station, mounted to a central truss structure. Further along the truss are six large, white radiators, three next to each pair of arrays. In between the solar arrays and radiators is a cluster of pressurised modules arranged in an elongated T shape, also attached to the truss. A set of blue solar arrays are mounted to the module at the aft end of the cluster.
The components of the ISS in an exploded diagram, with modules on-orbit highlighted in orange, and those still awaiting launch in blue or pink
Sunrise at Zvezda
Fisheye view of several labs
A comparison between the combustion of a candle on Earth
(left) and in a microgravity environment, such as that found on the ISS (right)
ISS crew member storing samples
A 3D plan of the Russia-based MARS-500
complex, used for ground-based experiments which complement ISS-based preparations for a manned mission to Mars
Education and cultural outreach
Japan's Kounotori 4 berthing
Original Jules Verne manuscripts displayed by crew inside Jules Verne ATV
Partially constructed ISS in December 2002
S3-S4 Truss Installed in 2007
ISS in 2007, with fewer solar arrays
Aft view showing a Progress spacecraft docked to Zvezda
The Cupola arrived in 2010
Russian Orbital Segment Windows
USOS International Space Station window locations
Unity as pictured by Space Shuttle Endeavour
Destiny interior in 2001
Pirs and Poisk
Harmony node in 2011
Tranquility node in 2011
Columbus module in 2008
Not large enough for crew using spacesuits, the airlock on Kibō has a sliding drawer for external experiments.
Experiment Logistics Module
Experiment Logistics Module
Remote Manipulator System
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module
Scheduled additional modules
NanoRacks Airlock Module
The cancelled Habitation module under construction in 1997
ISS Truss Components breakdown showing Trusses and all ORUs in situ
Robotic arms and cargo cranes
, like many of the station's experiments and robotic arms, can be operated from Earth and perform tasks while the crew sleeps.
Atmospheric control systems
The interactions between the components of the ISS Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS)
Power and thermal control
Russian solar arrays, backlit by sunset.
One of the eight truss mounted pairs of USOS solar arrays
ISS External Active Thermal Control System (EATCS) diagram
Communications and computers
The communications systems used by the ISS
* Luch satellite and the Space Shuttle are not currently in use
Laptop computers surround the Canadarm2 console.
Expeditions and private flights
Zarya and Unity were entered for the first time on 10 December 1998.
Soyuz TM-31 being prepared to bring the first resident crew to the station in October 2000
ISS was slowly assembled over a decade of spaceflights and crews
Expeditions have included male and female crew-members from many nations
Graph showing the changing altitude of the ISS from November 1998 until January 2009
Animation of ISS orbit from a North American geostationary point of view (sped up 1800 times)
Orbits of the ISS, shown in April 2013
Space centres involved with the ISS programme
Spare parts are called ORUs
; some are externally stored on pallets called ELCs
While anchored on the end of the OBSS
, astronaut Scott Parazynski
performs makeshift repairs to a US solar array which damaged itself when unfolding.
Mike Hopkins on his Christmas Eve spacewalk
ISS orbit with calendar of expeditions and modules through 2014
Dragon and Cygnus cargo vessels were docked at the ISS together for the first time in April 2016.
The Progress M-14M
resupply vehicle as it approaches the ISS in 2012. Over 50 unpiloted Progress
spacecraft have been sent with supplies during the lifetime of the station.
Launch and docking windows
Crewmember peers out of a window
Space toilet in the Zvezda
Crew health and safety
Microbiological environmental hazards
Threat of orbital debris
A 7 g object (shown in centre) shot at 7 km/s (23,000 ft/s), the orbital velocity of the ISS, made this 15 cm (5.9 in) crater in a solid block of aluminium
Example of risk management
: A NASA model showing areas at high risk from impact for the International Space Station.
End of mission
Dated 29 January 1998
Sightings from Earth
The ISS and HTV photographed using a telescope-mounted camera by Ralf Vandebergh
A time exposure of a station pass