8 Cool Facts on Big Day for International Space Station

It's the 15th anniversary of continuous residency at the ISS
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2015 5:35 PM CST
8 Cool Facts on Big Day for International Space Station
In this image from NASA television astronaut Terry Virts installs an antenna and boom during the third spacewalk outside the International Space Station Sunday March 1, 2015.   (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

Monday marks the 15th anniversary of continuous residency at the International Space Station, the AP reports. The station was launched in 1998, the BBC reports, and first permanent crew moved in on Nov. 2, 2000. It's planned to be decommissioned in 2020. Eight fun ISS facts to celebrate the 15-year milestone:

  • In the past 15 years, 220 people from 17 countries have come and gone at the space station; more than 26,500 meals have been served, and the complex has expanded from three rooms to 13.
  • Two of those rooms are bathrooms; there's also a gym and a 360-degree bay window. The space station has more livable room than a typical 6-bedroom house, NASA notes.
  • And some of those meals? Shrimp cocktail and macaroni & cheese are among the favorites.
  • The ISS is 250 miles away from Earth and is the second brightest object in our night sky (our moon being the very brightest).

  • The ISS orbits the earth every hour and a half, traveling 5 miles per second. You don't need a telescope to see it as it goes by.
  • It weighs about 925,000 pounds, or more than 320 cars combined, per NASA. It's 357 feet end-to-end, or just 3 feet shy of the length of a football field with end zones included.
  • Supporting a 3-person crew for 6 months requires about 7 tons of supplies.
  • On Thursday, Commander Scott Kelly broke the record for longest consecutive amount of time in space by an American astronaut, The Verge reports. He was at 216 days then; all in all he'll spend 342 consecutive days on the ISS before he comes home in March.
(More NASA stories.)

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