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ISS (International Space Station)

The International Space Station, more commonly known as the ISS is what we are going to learn about.

The ISS is the ‘International’ Space Station, which means that the space station is an international project. The ISS is not the first space station. There have been others, however what is special about the ISS is that the project is a multi national effort by a number of nations. These nations are listed below.


The space station is an artificial satellite, which means it orbits the Earth from space. The moon is an example of a natural satellite, and the difference is that the artificial satellite is man made.


The ISS was built in many stages and has been a joint effort by all the countries involved since it was launched way back in 1998. So the ISS has already been in orbit of a number of years.

The station is serviced by spacecraft from many of the participating countries. The station can carry up to 6 crew members and most of the time the station has a full crew.

So, what purpose does the ISS serve and why was the ISS built?

The purpose of the ISS is to act as a laboratory that constantly orbits the Earth in space. The station conducts many tests and experiments for the different space agencies and will also play an important role in in future missions to the moon, Mars and other places in the solar system.

The cost to build and maintain the station is very expensive, and is one of the most if not the most expensive things ever constructed.

The crew of the ISS spend most of their days on the station working on projects, with some free time for themselves in their quarters. Its not easy to eat, drink, sleep or do anything else really on the station, however there are good systems in place for the crew to manage.

The ISS is a wonderful man made creation, and its vital for future space exploration.


Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. The crew on the ISS can see the sun rise and set 16 times per day.

# 2. The ISS was founded and created by 14 different nations.

# 3. The ISS orbits earth every 90 minutes.

# 4. The ISS can be tracked for its position on the NASA website.


Q&A Corner

Q. What is the ISS?

Q. What does the ISS stand for?

Q. How many crew members can the ISS hold?

Q. What year was the ISS launched?

Q. How many nations are involved in the ISS?

Download questions about the ISS here: ISS (answers are on this page)

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the ISS. Click on Kidskonnect. Worksheets

For further reading and more information on the ISS visit

  Key Vocabulary Space. Solar System. Earth. Station. Exploration. Orbits.


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