International Space Station facts and figures

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest international scientific project ever conceived. Built by the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and 11 European countries, the station is powered by solar arrays that will generate 110 kilowatts of power once completed. Laboratory and habitation modules will support a permanent international crew of seven astronauts. ISS will serve as a platform for Earth and space observation and the experiments conducted on board will help produce new materials and pharmaceutical products, which can only be developed in microgravity.

Space Station assembly requires transportation of materials by the American. Space Shuttle and Russian Soyuz. Over 50 missions will be required to transport and assemble all ISS components. Since November 2, 2000, a crew has lived on the ISS; they are replaced at regular intervals.

The first module of the station was launched in 1998 and should be completely assembled by 2010. Once fully assembled, it will cover an area equal to that of a Canadian football field (108 metres long). It will weigh 450 metric tons.

Participating countriesUnited States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and 11 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).
Canada's contribution
  • The mobile servicing system (MSS), which includes three elements: the robotic arm Canadarm2, the mobile base system and the special purpose dexterous manipulator Dextre
  • The Canadian Space Vision System
  • The ground segment, the MSS Operations Complex is located at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec. This complex provides the infrastructure, resources, equipment and expertise required for monitoring and analysis of MSS operations in space, training of ISS crew members and ground crew, logistic support and flow of MSS operations in real-time processing.
Scheduled date of completion2010
Number of missions requiredOver 50 missions will be required to transport and assemble all parts of the ISS.
Number of spacewalks required
  • About 160 spacewalks, that is, 960 hours, will be required for station assembly and maintenance.
  • In April 2001, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk (extravehicular activity, or EVA) when he installed Canadarm2 on the ISS.
Size
  • Fully assembled, the ISS will be 108 by 74 metres.
  • It will have 1,250 cubic metres of living and working space, which is the equivalent of the interior of a Boeing 747, about the size of three average Canadian houses.
MassAbout 450 metric tons
Pressurized volume1,200 cubic metres
Orbit Inclination51.6 degrees
AltitudeFrom 370 to 460 kilometres
FacilitiesSix laboratories with 24 experiment racks (about the size of a refrigerator)
First modulesZarya, launched in November 1998, and Unity, launched in December 1998
Power generationWith an acre wing area for the solar arrays, it will generate 110 kilowatts
Crews
  • Expedition 1 (October 31, 2000, to March 21, 2001)
    First permanent crew included American Astronaut and ISS Commander Bill Shepherd and Russian Cosmonauts Youri Gidzenko as Soyuz Commander and Sergei Krikalev, as Flight Engineer. A Soyuz rocket was used for transport. In orbit for 140 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes.

  • Expedition 2 (March 8 to August 22, 2001)
    Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yury Usachev, and by American Astronauts and Flight Engineers James Voss and Susan Helms. Vehicule used: Space Shuttle Discovery. In orbit for 167 days, 6 hours and 41 minutes.

  • Expedition 3 (from August 10 to December 17, 2001)
    Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander Frank Culbertson and Russian Cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhuroz (Soyuz Commander) and Mikhail Tyurin (Flight Engineer). Space Shuttle Discovery was used for transport. In orbit for 128 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Expedition 4 (December 5, 2001, to June 19, 2002)
    Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yury I. Onufrienko, and American Astronauts and Flight Engineers Daniel W. Bursh and Carl E. Waltz. Space Shuttle Endeavour was used for transport. In orbit for 195 days, 19 hours and 39 minutes.

  • Expedition 5 (June 5 to December 7, 2002)
    Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Valery Korzun, and American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev. Space Shuttle Endeavour was used for transport. In orbit for 184 days, 22 hours and 14 minutes.

  • Expedition 6 (November 23, 2002, to May 3, 2003)
    Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander Kenneth Bowersox, American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Donald Pettit, and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Nicolai Budarin. Space Shuttle Endeavour was used for transport. In orbit for 161 days, 1 hour and 17 minutes.

  • Expedition 7 (April 25 to October 27, 2003)
    Crew comprised of Russian Cosmonaut and ISS Commander Yuri Malenchenko and American Astronaut and Flight Engineer Ed Lu. Soyuz TMA-2 was used for transport. In orbit for 184 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes.

  • Expedition 8 (October 18, 2003, to April 29, 2004)
    Crew comprised of American Astronaut and ISS Commander Michael Foale, and Russian Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri. The European Space Agency's Pedro Duque of Spain accompanied Expedition 8 into space and came back nine days later with Expedition 7. Soyuz TMA-3 was used for transport. In orbit for 194 days, 18 hours and 35 minutes.

  • Expedition 9 (April 18 to October 2004)
    Crew comprised of Russian cosmonaut and ISS commander Gennady Padalka and by American astronaut and flight engineer Mike Fincke. The European Space Agency's André Kuipers from the Netherlands accompanied Expedition 9 and came back nine days later with Expedition 8. Soyuz TMA-4 was used for transport. They are still in orbit.

  • Expedition 10 (October 2004)
    American Astronaut Leroy Chiao and Russain Cosmonaut Salizhan S. Sharipov will form the crew of Expedition 10.

  • Expedition 11 (April 14, to October 10, 2005)
    American Astronaut John Phillips and Russain Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. Soyuz TMA-6 was used for transport. In orbit for 179 days, 23 hours.

  • Expedition 12 (September 30, 2005 to April 8, 2006)
    American Astronaut William McArthur and Russain Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev. Soyuz TMA-7 was used for transport. In orbit for 189 days, 19 hours and 53 minutes.

  • Expedition 13 (March 29, 2006 to September 28, 2006)
    American Astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Europeen astronaut Thomas Reiter and Russain Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. Soyuz TMA-8 was used for transport. In orbit for 182 days, 23 hours and 44 minutes.

  • Expedition 14 (September 18, 2006 to April 21, 2007)
    American Astronauts Sunita Williams and Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russain Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. Soyuz TMA-9 was used for transport. In orbit for 215 days, 8 hours and 23 minutes.

  • Expedition 15 (April 7, 2007 to October 2007)
    American Astronaut Clayton Anderson, and Russain Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov. Soyuz TMA-10 was used for transport.

  • Expedition 16 (October 2007)
    American Astronaut Clayton Anderson, and Russain Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov.
CostThe cost of designing, developing, and installing the mobile servicing system on the station is about $1.4 billion over 20 years (1984 to 2004), or about three dollars a year per Canadian taxpayer.
Benefits
  • Economic benefits worth about $6 billion are expected from Canada's participation in the International Space Station, with 70,000 person-years of employment.
  • Contracts worth $919 million have been awarded to the Canadian aerospace industry to date, generating $2.8 billion in benefits and 32,000 person-years of employment.