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About the 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 24 Canadian studies have been conducted aboard the ISS, some of which are still underway. These experiments are designed to:

Seven Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts have completed nine missions aboard the ISS.

The International Space Station from the vantage point of a Space Shuttle Discovery observer

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:

How big is the ISS

Text version of infographic How big is the ISS

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

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