Space Station: |
Assembling a World-Class Orbiting Laboratory
The project is so complex that no one nation could tackle it alone. Sixteen nations-the U.S., Canada, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom-have banded together in one of the largest non-military joint efforts in history. The program involves more than 100,000 people at space agencies and hundreds of contractor and subcontractor companies around the world.
On-orbit assembly begins in 1998, with the new star appearing in the night sky and growing brighter as each additional component is delivered to space. The space station is scheduled for completion in 2004.
With the International Space Station, a permanent laboratory will be established in a realm where gravity, temperature and pressure can be manipulated to achieve numerous scientific and engineering pursuits that are impossible in ground-based laboratories. The space station will be a test bed for the technologies of the future and a laboratory for research on new, advanced industrial materials, communications technology, medical research and much more.