About the International Space Station

International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) is a research laboratory that orbits the Earth. Canada is one of the Station's partners, along with the United States, Russia, Europe and Japan.

Canada's contribution to the ISS consists of cutting-edge robots Canadarm2 and Dextre, and the Mobile Base System, a transport and storage platform.

Providing these robots has given Canada access to the orbiting laboratory to:

To date, over 20 Canadian studies have been conducted aboard the ISS, some of which are still underway. These experiments are designed to:

Six Canadian astronauts have completed eight missions aboard the ISS. Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques travelled to space on to take part in a long-duration mission lasting about six and a half months. He is scheduled to return to Earth on

The ISS as seen from Space Shuttle Discovery. Canadarm2 can be seen "waving" from the top part of the Station. (Credit: NASA)

  • The first module of the ISS was launched on .
  • It takes 15 minutes for the Station to cross Canada.
  • Every day, the ISS circles the Earth 16 times, a distance roughly equal to a round trip to the Moon!

Modules and dimensions

The ISS has many pressurized modules (PDF, 8 MB), or habitable sections filled with breathable air. Its living space is about the size of a five-bedroom home.

The Station is:

Text version of infographic How big is the ISS

The ISS is about five National Hockey League rinks wide and one rink long (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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