The 16 nations are the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
At full capacity, the one-million-pound space station will include six laboratories and provide more research space than any spacecraft ever built. There will be enough living space for a crew of seven.
Information on ISS crews and expeditions can be found here.
Statistics (as of June 2013) Source: NASA The ISS includes eight large modules, each launched separately and connected in space by astronauts.
The ISS weighs 924,739 lbs (419,456 kilograms)
Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters)
Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
There have been 168 spacewalks conducted in support of space station assembly, totaling more than 1,061 hours.
The space station has been visited by 204 individuals from eight different countries.
There have been 134 launches to the space station: 89 Russian vehicles, 37 space shuttles, two U.S. commercial vehicles, three European vehicles and three Japanese vehicles.
On its tenth anniversary (November 2, 2010), the ISS is estimated to have made 57,361 orbits around the earth.
November 1998 – A Russian Proton rocket places the first piece, the Zarya module, in orbit.
December 1998 – The space shuttle Endeavour crew, on the STS-88 mission, attaches the Unity module to Zarya initiating the first ISS assembly sequence.
June 1999 – The space shuttle Discovery crew, on mission STS-96, supplies two modules with tools and cranes.
July 2000 – Zvezda, the fifth flight, docks with the ISS to become the third major component of the station.
November 2000 – The first permanent crew, Expedition One, arrives at the station.
November/December 2000 – The space shuttle Endeavour crew, on mission STS-97, installs the first set of U.S. solar arrays on the station and visits Expedition One.
February 2001 – Mission STS-98 delivers the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Module.
March 2001 – STS-102 delivers Expedition Two to the station and brings Expedition One home. The crew also brings Leonardo, the first Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, to the station.
September 16, 2001 – The Russian Docking Compartment, Pirs, arrives at the ISS.
June 2002 – STS-111 delivers the Expedition Five crew and brings the Expedition Four crew home. The crew also brings the Mobile Base System to the orbital outpost.
December 2002 – STS-113 delivers the Expedition Six crew and the P1 Truss.
February 2003 – The space shuttle Columbia explodes. NASA grounds the shuttle program, leaving only Russian spacecraft to transport cargo and crew to the ISS
May 3, 2003 – Expedition Six crew return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-1. Crew members Bowersox and Pettit are the first American astronauts ever to land in a Soyuz spacecraft.
July 29, 2003 – Marks the 1,000th consecutive day of people living and working aboard the International Space Station (this is a record for the Space Station, but not for space).
August 10, 2003 – Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko marries his fiancée Ekaterina Dmitriev from space. The bride and groom exchange vows over a hotline set up for the event. Dmitriev stands next to a life-sized picture of Malenchenko.
April 22, 2004 – The second of four gyroscopes that stabilize the orbiting outpost of the ISS fails. NASA officials say this does not pose an immediate threat to the crew. An extra spacewalk will have to be conducted to the fix the electrical component box thought to be at fault.
November 2, 2005 – Fifth anniversary of continuous human presence in space on the International Space Station.
February 3, 2006 – SuitSat-1, an unmanned space suit containing a radio transmitter, batteries, and internal sensors to monitor battery power and temperature, is deployed as a part of an International Space Station spacewalk. The suit is supposed to transmit recorded messages in six languages to school children and amateur radio operators for several days before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and burning up, but it goes silent shortly after its deployment.
March 31, 2006 – Arriving with the crew of Expedition Thirteen is Marcos Pontes, the first Brazilian astronaut. Staying eight days, Pontes conducts scientific experiments before returning to Earth with the crew of Expedition Twelve.
July 7, 2006 – The arrival of Thomas Reiter of Germany via the Space Shuttle Discovery returns the station’s long-duration crew to three for the first time since May 2003 and the Columbia shuttle disaster. Reiter is the first non-U.S. and non-Russian long-duration station crewmember, and he remains onboard during the first part of Expedition Fourteen.
September 9, 2006 – Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the International Space Station, delivering the P3/P4 truss and its solar wings before undocking September 21 and returning to Earth.
September 20, 2006 – Arriving with the crew of Expedition Fourteen is Anousheh Ansari, an American businesswoman. She spends about eight days conducting experiments and blogging about her experiences before returning to Earth with two of the three members of Expedition Thirteen.
December 2006 – Arrival of Flight Engineer Sunita Williams via space shuttle mission STS-116. Williams replaces Thomas Reiter, who returns to Earth with the crew of STS-116.
April 7, 2007 – Charles Simonyi becomes the fifth space tourist when he accompanies the Expedition Fifteen crew to the ISS. He spends 12 days aboard the space station before returning to Earth with the crew of Expedition Fourteen.
June 10, 2007 – Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the ISS to install a new segment and solar panel on the space station and retrieve astronaut Sunita Williams, who has been at the space station since December. Williams is replaced by Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson, who will return to earth aboard Discovery on Mission STS-120.
June 15, 2007 – Four days after ISS’s computers crash, two Russian cosmonauts bring them back online. The computers control the station’s orientation as well as oxygen production. The crew used Atlantis’ thrusters to help maintain the station’s position while its computers were down.
October 25, 2007 – Space Shuttle Discovery docks with ISS. In the days while docked with the ISS, Discovery crew delivers and connects Harmony to the ISS, a living and working compartment that will also serve as the docking port for Japanese and European Union laboratories. Discovery and ISS crew also move an ISS solar array to prepare for future ISS expansion, planning a special spacewalk to repair damage to the solar array that occurred during its unfurling.
November 14, 2007 – ISS crew move the Harmony node from its temporary location on the Unity node to its permanent location attached to Destiny.
February 9, 2008 – Space Shuttle Atlantis arrives. Atlantis crew delivers the European-made Columbus laboratory, a 23-foot long module that will be home to a variety of science experiments. Atlantis remains docked with the ISS for just under nine days.
March 9, 2008 – “Jules Verne,” the first of a series of European space vessels designed to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, launches from the Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, French Guiana. The vessels are called Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV), are propelled into space atop an Ariane 5 rocket, and are designed to dock with the ISS with no human assistance. The Jules Verne will wait to dock with the ISS until after Space Shuttle Endeavour’s March mission is completed.
March 12, 2008 – Space Shuttle Endeavour docks with the ISS.
March 24, 2008 – Endeavour detaches from the ISS. While docked, crew members make five spacewalks to deliver and assemble the Dextre Robotics System, deliver and attach the Kibo logistics module, attach science experiments to the exterior of the ISS, and perform other inspection and maintenance tasks.
April 3, 2008 – The unmanned European cargo ship Jules Verne successfully docks with the ISS. Able to carry more than three times the volume of the Russian-built Progress resupply vehicles, the Jules Verne contains fuel, water, oxygen, and other supplies. The automated docking sequence is monitored by flight controllers at the European Space Agency in Toulouse, France, as well as at NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, and Russia’s control center near Moscow.
April 10, 2008 – Two members of Expedition 17 crew arrive at the ISS via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Travelling with them is Yi So-yeon, a space flight participant and South Korea’s first astronaut. Yi later returns to Earth aboard an older Soyuz spacecraft along with members of the Expedition 16 crew; while in space, she will conduct a number of experiments aboard the ISS.
June 2, 2008 – Space Shuttle Discovery docks with the ISS. Discovery is carrying Japan’s Kibo lab, a replacement pump for the station’s toilet, and astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, who is replacing Garrett Reisman as part of the station’s crew.
June 11, 2008 – Discovery undocks with the ISS after its crew successfully delivers and installs the Japanese-built Kibo lab, delivers parts to repair the ISS’s malfunctioning toilet, collects debris samples from the station’s faulty solar power wing, and retrieves an inspection boom left behind during a previous shuttle mission. Station crewmember Garrett Reisman departs with Discovery; he is replaced on the station by Gregory Chamitoff.
October 12, 2008 - The Soyuz TMA-13 capsule carrying two Americans – flight commander Michael Fincke and American computer game millionaire Richard Garriott, and Russian flight engineer Yuri Lonchakov – lifts off from Kazakhstan. It docks with the ISS on October 14.
March 12, 2009 – Orbital debris from a prior space shuttle mission forces the crew of Expedition 18 to retreat to its Soyuz capsule temporarily.
August 24, 2011 – Russian emergency officials report that an unmanned Russian cargo craft, the Progress-M12M, that was to deliver 3.85 tons of food and supplies to the ISS crashed in a remote area of Siberia. Future missions could be delayed until an investigation pinpoints the cause of the crash involving a Soyuz rocket, the same kind of booster that powers the flights of crew members to the space station.
May 19, 2012 – SpaceX’s launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, the first private spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, is aborted a half a second before liftoff. SpaceX engineers trace the problem to a faulty rocket engine valve.
May 22, 2012 – The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches at 3:44 a.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rocket carries the Dragon spacecraft, which is filled with food, supplies and science experiments and bound for the International Space Station.
May 25, 2012 – The unmanned SpaceX Dragon spacecraft connects to the International Space Station, the first private spacecraft to successfully reach an orbiting space station.
October 7, 2012 – SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with its Dragon capsule carrying 1,000 pounds of supplies bound for the International Space Station launches at 8:35 p.m. ET from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. It is the first of a dozen NASA-contracted flights to resupply the International Space Station, at a total cost of $1.6 billion.
November 26, 2012 – NASA announces that Capt. Scott Kelly will set the record for the longest single space mission for an American. Kelly and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark on a yearlong mission to the ISS in 2015.
February 19, 2013 – NASA loses communication with the ISS during a software upgrade. Communication is restored several hours later.
May 9, 2013 – The crew discovers that the International Space Station is leaking ammonia. The crew performs a spacewalk and corrects the leak two days later.