If you’re 20 years old or younger, your whole life astronauts have lived continuously aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at about 17,500 mph (28,000 km/h), you can view the ISS with the naked eye.
Now in its 20th year of continuous human presence, the ISS provides a platform for long-duration research in microgravity.
NASA and its international partners are constantly learning how to live and work in space. Astronauts spend extensive time aboard the ISS conducting experiments, performing spacewalks to improve and repair it, and they exercise for at least two hours every day to maintain their health and bone density.
The ISS serves as the test bed for future long duration space missions and it is key to our further our understanding for future missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, once again launching astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil, increases the crew time available for science on the orbiting lab.
Watch this video to learn more about the orbiting laboratory, the ISS.