Five awesome facts about the International Space Station

Here are five amazing tidbits of information about the ISS.


It’s bigger than a football field

The total length of the ISS from end to end is about 109 metres (357 feet), longer than both a “proper” football field and an American Football field, while its liveable space is roughly equal to a five-bedroom house.

It’s moving at 17,240 mph

The ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes and since its launch in 1998 it has completed approximately 60,000 orbits and travelled more than 2.4 billion kilometres (1.5 billion miles), equivalent to eight round trips to the Sun.

340 people have been to the station

The first mission to the ISS was on 2 November 2000 and since then it has been continuously occupied. 70 manned missions on Space Shuttles and Soyuz spacecraft have flown to the ISS, while over 60 unmanned vehicles have docked with the station.

It’s the most expensive object ever built

At an estimated cost of $100bn dollars, the ISS is the most expensive single object ever built by mankind. Roughly half of the total price was contributed by the USA, the rest by other nations including Europe, Japan and Russia.

It weighs more than 320 cars

The ISS is primarily composed of 15 pressurised modules (seven US, five Russian, two Japanese and one European) and four large solar panels. It weighs 420,000 kilograms (925,000 pounds), which is more than 320 automobiles.

Image courtesy of NASA

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