The International Space Station
Background and Current Status
The International Space Station, is the largest international civil program in history. It features unprecedented technical, managerial, and international complexity. Seven international partners and participants encompassing fifteen countries are involved in the ISS. Each partner is designing, developing and will be operating separate pieces of hardware, to be integrated on-orbit into a single orbiting station. Mission control centers, launch vehicles, astronauts & cosmonauts, and support services will be provided by multiple partners, but functioning in a coordinated,integrated fashion. A number of major milestones have been accomplished to date, including the construction of major elements of flight hardware, the development of operations and sustaining engineering centers, astronaut training, and seven Space Shuttle/Mir docking missions. International partner contributions and levels of participation have already been planned. Astronauts and cosmonauts are in training. The first elements of the space station are set to launch in June of 1998.