The International Space Station (ISS) Comes to Mosinee Middle School!: What is the ISS?


Since 1958, NASA has furthered mankind's knowledge of our solar system and the space beyond. NASA's joint efforts with other countries, especially the addition of the International Space Station in 2000, have greatly heightened our awareness of the vast entity surrounding our home, Earth.

Every year, the 7th grade teaching team and students spend one week learning about aeronautics, space exploration, NASA, and the International Space Station.   

This Lib. Guide provides resources for students and staff to investigate space exploration and how the International Space Station contributes to our knowledge of space as we understand it today.

Check Out the ISS!

 ISS: On the Station  

Learn more about the International Space Station!

See the first module, the first crew, recent updates, and more!

ISS Video Updates!

NASA Video Gallery

Type in: ISS Update in the search bar to find the almost daily video updates on the happenings of the International Space Station!

Home Website

Mission: International Space Station

Check out the ISS home page!

Take a Tour of the ISS!

Facts & Figures of the International Space Station

Facts and Figures

    The International Space Station 
    The International Space Station's length and width is about the size of a football field. Credit: NASA 

    The International Space Station marks its 10th anniversary of continuous human occupation on Nov. 2, 2010. Since Expedition 1, which launched Oct. 31, 2000, and docked Nov. 2, the space station has been visited by 196 individuals from eight different countries. 

    At the time of the anniversary, the station’s odometer will read more than 1.5 billion statute miles (the equivalent of eight round trips to the Sun), over the course of 57,361 orbits around the Earth. Since the first module, Zarya, launched at 1:40 a.m. EST on Nov. 20, 1998, it has made a total of 68,519 orbits of our home planet, or about 1.7 billion miles on its odometer. 

    As of the Nov. 2 anniversary date there have been 103 launches to the space station: 67 Russian vehicles, 34 space shuttles, one European and one Japanese vehicle. A total of 150 spacewalks have been conducted in support of space station assembly totaling more than 944 hours. 

    The space station, including its large solar arrays, spans the area of a U.S. football field, including the end zones, and weighs 827,794 pounds. The complex now has more livable room than a conventional five-bedroom house, and has two bathrooms and a gymnasium. 

    Additional launches will continue to augment these facts and figures, so check back here for the latest. 

    International Space Station Size & Mass 

    • Module Length: 167.3 feet (51 meters)
    • Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters)
    • Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
    • Mass: 816,349 lb (370,290 kilograms)
    • Habitable Volume: 12,705 cubic feet (360 cubic meters)
    • Pressurized Volume: 29,561 cubic feet (837 cubic meters)
    • Power Generation: 8 solar arrays = 84 kilowatts
    • Lines of Computer Code: approximately 2.3 million
    International Space Station at Completion 

    Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov 
    Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov wears a Russian Orlan spacesuit during a spacewalk. Credit: NASA 

    • The ISS solar array surface area could cover the U.S. Senate Chamber three times over.
    • ISS eventually will be larger than a five-bedroom house.
    • ISS will have an internal pressurized volume of 33,023 cubic feet, or equal that of a Boeing 747.
    • The solar array wingspan (240 ft) is longer than that of a Boeing 777 200/300 model, which is 212 ft.
    • Fifty-two computers will control the systems on the ISS.
    • More than 100 space flights will have been conducted on five different types of launch vehicles over the course of the station’s construction.
    • More than 100 telephone-booth sized rack facilities can be in the ISS for operating the spacecraft systems and research experiments
    • The ISS is almost four times as large as the Russian space station Mir, and about five times as large as the U.S. Skylab.
    • The ISS will weigh almost one million pounds (925,627 lbs). That’s the equivalent of more than 320 automobiles.
    • The ISS measures 357 feet end-to-end. That’s equivalent to the length of a football field including the end zones (well, almost – a football field is 360 feet).
    • 3.3 million lines of software code on the ground supports 1.8 million lines of flight software code.
    • 8 miles of wire connects the electrical power system.
    • In the International Space Station’s U.S. segment alone, 1.5 million lines of flight software code will run on 44 computers communicating via 100 data networks transferring 400,000 signals (e.g. pressure or temperature measurements, valve positions, etc.).
    • The ISS will manage 20 times as many signals as the Space Shuttle.
    • Main U.S. control computers have 1.5 gigabytes of total main hard drive storage in U.S. segment compared to modern PCs, which have ~500 gigabyte hard drives.
    • The entire 55-foot robot arm assembly is capable of lifting 220,000 pounds, which is the weight of a Space Shuttle orbiter.
    • The 75 to 90 kilowatts of power for the ISS is supplied by an acre of solar panels.