It’s exactly 20 years since the first astronauts went to live and work on the International Space Station (ISS) for an extended period.
The space station was launched in 1998 and two years later, in November 2000, three astronauts – American Bill Shepherd and Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev – climbed aboard, the first crew of this crucial research facility. The ISS has been orbiting Earth since, although crews change often.
The ISS plays an important role in research about space such as how a person’s body reacts to long periods there. Some significant subjects studied over the 20 years include: