NASA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the International Space Station (ISS), a program that brings together astronauts from various countries to function in space. International flight crews, multiple launch vehicles, global launch and flight operations, training, engineering, development facilities, communication networks, and the worldwide scientific research community are all part of the ISS.
During the STS-88 mission of the space shuttle Endeavour, the first two modules of the International Space Station, Zarya and Unity, were connected on this day. The shuttle's Canadarm robotic arm stretched out and grabbed Zarya, which had been in orbit for just over two weeks, before joining it to the Unity module stored within Endeavour's payload bay. The historic occasion represented an important milestone in constructing and assembling the International Space Station.
On this occasion, NASA took to Instagram and shared the before and after pictures of the International Space Station. NASA captioned, "How it started vs. how it's going. Today marks the 25th anniversary of operations on the International Space Station (@ISS). On Dec. 6, 1998, the station's first two elements-the Unity and Zarya modules-were joined in low Earth orbit."
The space agency further revealed that the 273 individuals from 21 countries visited the ISS together to prepare future human explorations for travel to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. For the benefit of humanity, humans have constantly lived and worked aboard the orbiting laboratory since November 2, 2000, getting together worldwide flight crews to conduct over 3,300 scientific and educational studies.
In a long post, NASA shared, "A view of the space station in the darkness of space around the year 2000." It is made up of two cylindrical modules that are linked at their short ends. The Unity module on the left is fairly greyer than the Zarya module on the right, which is longer and cream-coloured. A pair of solar panels extend upwards and downwards from Zarya."
The American agency said, "The station was seen during a fly-around by the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour after it undocked from the Harmony module's space-facing port on November 8, 2021. Four pairs of golden solar arrays and three sets of grey radiator panels fold upward on each side. The entire craft is nearly the size of a football pitch."
In 1984, US President Ronald Reagan formally approved the Space Station, and the US Congress approved the budget. Between 1984 and 1993, the Station's design was completed. The Station's components were built in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe.