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All EU and many other European countries offer their citizens a free European Health Insurance Card which, on a reciprocal basis, provides insurance for emergency medical treatment insurance when visiting other participating European countries. The EU has some of the highest levels of life expectancy in the world, with Spain, Italy, Sweden, France, Malta, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Greece all among the world’s top 20 countries with the highest life expectancy.

The overall life expectancy in the EU in was Cultural co-operation between member states has been an interest of the European Union since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty. Sport is mainly the responsibility of the member states or other international organisations, rather than of the EU. There are some EU policies that have affected sport, such as the free movement of workers, which was at the core of the Bosman ruling that prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with European citizenship.

The Treaty of Lisbon requires any application of economic rules to take into account the specific nature of sport and its structures based on voluntary activity.

The flag of Europe consists of a circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Originally designed in for the Council of Europe, the flag was adopted by the European Communities , the predecessors of the present European Union, in The Council of Europe gave the flag a symbolic description in the following terms, [] though the official symbolic description adopted by the EU omits the reference to the «Western world»: [].

Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars symbolise the peoples of Europe in a form of a circle, the sign of union. The number of stars is invariably twelve , the figure twelve being the symbol of perfection and entirety. United in Diversity was adopted as the motto of the union in , having been selected from proposals submitted by school pupils. The anthem of the EU is an instrumental version of the prelude to the Ode to Joy , the 4th movement of Ludwig van Beethoven ‘s ninth symphony.

The anthem was adopted by European Community leaders in and has since been played on official occasions. Known from the myth in which Zeus seduces her in the guise of a white bull, Europa has also been referred to in relation to the present union. Statues of Europa and the bull decorate several of the EU’s institutions and a portrait of her is seen on the series of euro banknotes. The bull is, for its part, depicted on all residence permit cards.

The commission has named one of its central buildings in Brussels after Charlemagne and the city of Aachen has since awarded the Charlemagne Prize to champions of European unification. Media freedom is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens , as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights.

It provides support for the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond. The European Union has had a significant positive economic effect on most member states. The largest winners were the new member states, in particular unskilled labour in the new member states. The European Union has contributed to peace in Europe, in particular by pacifying border disputes, [] [] and to the spread of democracy, especially by encouraging democratic reforms in aspiring Eastern European member states after the collapse of the USSR.

Daniel Kelemen argues that the EU has proved beneficial to leaders who are overseeing democratic backsliding , as the EU is reluctant to intervene in domestic politics, gives authoritarian governments funds which they can use to strengthen their regimes, and because freedom of movement within the EU allows dissenting citizens to leave their backsliding countries.

At the same time, the union provides an external constraint that prevents soft authoritarian regimes from progressing into hard dictatorships. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from European union. Political and economic union of 27 European states. For other uses, see EU disambiguation. This article is about the European Union. For the various levels of integration within European countries including EU member states, see European integration.

Show globe. Show special territories. Location of the European Union dark green in Europe dark grey. Luxembourg City. Latin Greek Cyrillic. Website europa. Main article: History of the European Union. For a chronological guide, see Timeline of European Union history. Further information: Treaties of the European Union and European integration.

Further information: Ideas of European unity before Main article: Treaty of Rome. Main article: Maastricht Treaty. Main article: Treaty of Lisbon. Main article: Demographics of the European Union. See also: List of cities in the European Union by population within city limits and list of urban areas in the European Union. Largest population centres of the European Union metropolitan regions, Eurostat [68].

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Archived from the original on 11 February BizNis Africa. Archived from the original on 29 January India Info Online. Retrieved 11 June Client Choice Awards. February Retrieved 23 June Hopkins The Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women, 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Roxbury, New York University Press. Retrieved 27 December Retrieved 11 May Retrieved 4 April The largest of these is the Integrated Truss Structure ITS , to which the station’s main solar arrays and thermal radiators are mounted.

ORUs are parts that can be replaced when they fail or pass their design life, including pumps, storage tanks, antennas, and battery units. Such units are replaced either by astronauts during EVA or by robotic arms. The AMS measures cosmic rays to look for evidence of dark matter and antimatter.

The system is designed to be robotically serviced and will require no astronaut intervention. It is named after Christopher Columbus’s younger brother. The Integrated Truss Structure serves as a base for the station’s primary remote manipulator system, the Mobile Servicing System MSS , which is composed of three main components:.

Each Strela crane has a mass of 45 kg 99 lb. Prior to its departure, Pirs served as the primary Russian airlock on the station, being used to store and refurbish the Russian Orlan spacesuits. NASA negotiated with Axiom on a firm fixed-price contract basis to build and deliver the module, which will attach to the forward port of the space station’s Harmony Node 2 module. Although NASA has only commissioned one module, Axiom plans to build an entire segment consisting of five modules, including a node module, an orbital research and manufacturing facility, a crew habitat, and a «large-windowed Earth observatory».

The Axiom segment is expected to greatly increase the capabilities and value of the space station, allowing for larger crews and private spaceflight by other organisations. Axiom plans to convert the segment into a stand-alone space station once the ISS is decommissioned, with the intention that this would act as a successor to the ISS.

Made by Bigelow Aerospace. Nanoracks, after finalizing its contract with NASA, and after winning NextSTEPs Phase II award, is now developing its concept Independence-1 previously known as Ixion , which would turn spent rocket tanks into a habitable living area to be tested in space.

If produced, this centrifuge will be the first in-space demonstration of sufficient scale centrifuge for artificial partial-g effects. It will be designed to become a sleep module for the ISS crew. Several modules planned for the station were cancelled over the course of the ISS programme.

Reasons include budgetary constraints, the modules becoming unnecessary, and station redesigns after the Columbia disaster.

The US Centrifuge Accommodations Module would have hosted science experiments in varying levels of artificial gravity. Instead, the living quarters are now spread throughout the station. The critical systems are the atmosphere control system, the water supply system, the food supply facilities, the sanitation and hygiene equipment, and fire detection and suppression equipment.

The Russian Orbital Segment’s life support systems are contained in the Zvezda service module. Some of these systems are supplemented by equipment in the USOS. The Nauka laboratory has a complete set of life support systems. The atmosphere on board the ISS is similar to that of Earth. An Earth-like atmosphere offers benefits for crew comfort, and is much safer than a pure oxygen atmosphere, because of the increased risk of a fire such as that responsible for the deaths of the Apollo 1 crew.

The Elektron system aboard Zvezda and a similar system in Destiny generate oxygen aboard the station. Other by-products of human metabolism, such as methane from the intestines and ammonia from sweat, are removed by activated charcoal filters.

Part of the ROS atmosphere control system is the oxygen supply. Triple-redundancy is provided by the Elektron unit, solid fuel generators, and stored oxygen. The primary supply of oxygen is the Elektron unit which produces O 2 and H 2 by electrolysis of water and vents H 2 overboard.

The 1 kW 1. This water is either brought from Earth or recycled from other systems. Mir was the first spacecraft to use recycled water for oxygen production. This unit is manually operated. Double-sided solar arrays provide electrical power to the ISS. These bifacial cells collect direct sunlight on one side and light reflected off from the Earth on the other, and are more efficient and operate at a lower temperature than single-sided cells commonly used on Earth.

The Russian segment of the station, like most spacecraft, uses 28 V low voltage DC from two rotating solar arrays mounted on Zvezda. The higher distribution voltage allows smaller, lighter conductors, at the expense of crew safety.

The two station segments share power with converters. The USOS solar arrays are arranged as four wing pairs, for a total production of 75 to 90 kilowatts. Each array is about m 2 4, sq ft in area and 58 m ft long. In the complete configuration, the solar arrays track the Sun by rotating the alpha gimbal once per orbit; the beta gimbal follows slower changes in the angle of the Sun to the orbital plane. The Night Glider mode aligns the solar arrays parallel to the ground at night to reduce the significant aerodynamic drag at the station’s relatively low orbital altitude.

The station originally used rechargeable nickel—hydrogen batteries NiH 2 for continuous power during the 45 minutes of every minute orbit that it is eclipsed by the Earth. The batteries are recharged on the day side of the orbit. They had a 6. The station’s large solar panels generate a high potential voltage difference between the station and the ionosphere.

This could cause arcing through insulating surfaces and sputtering of conductive surfaces as ions are accelerated by the spacecraft plasma sheath. To mitigate this, plasma contactor units create current paths between the station and the ambient space plasma. The station’s systems and experiments consume a large amount of electrical power, almost all of which is converted to heat.

To keep the internal temperature within workable limits, a passive thermal control system PTCS is made of external surface materials, insulation such as MLI, and heat pipes. The EATCS consists of an internal, non-toxic, water coolant loop used to cool and dehumidify the atmosphere, which transfers collected heat into an external liquid ammonia loop.

From the heat exchangers, ammonia is pumped into external radiators that emit heat as infrared radiation, then back to the station. It can reject up to 70 kW. Radio communications provide telemetry and scientific data links between the station and mission control centres.

Radio links are also used during rendezvous and docking procedures and for audio and video communication between crew members, flight controllers and family members. As a result, the ISS is equipped with internal and external communication systems used for different purposes.

The Russian Orbital Segment communicates directly with the ground via the Lira antenna mounted to Zvezda. Kraft Jr. UHF radio is used by astronauts and cosmonauts conducting EVAs and other spacecraft that dock to or undock from the station. Heat generated by the laptops does not rise but stagnates around the laptop, so additional forced ventilation is required. The operating system used for key station functions is the Debian Linux distribution.

Each permanent crew is given an expedition number. Expeditions run up to six months, from launch until undocking, an ‘increment’ covers the same time period, but includes cargo spacecraft and all activities. Expeditions 1 to 6 consisted of three-person crews. From Expedition 13 the crew gradually increased to six around Travellers who pay for their own passage into space are termed spaceflight participants by Roscosmos and NASA, and are sometimes referred to as «space tourists», a term they generally dislike.

When professional crews change over in numbers not divisible by the three seats in a Soyuz, and a short-stay crewmember is not sent, the spare seat is sold by MirCorp through Space Adventures.

Space tourism was halted in when the Space Shuttle was retired and the station’s crew size was reduced to six, as the partners relied on Russian transport seats for access to the station.

Soyuz flight schedules increased after , allowing five Soyuz flights 15 seats with only two expeditions 12 seats required. Anousheh Ansari became the first self-funded woman to fly to the ISS as well as the first Iranian in space. Officials reported that her education and experience made her much more than a tourist, and her performance in training had been «excellent.

The documentary Space Tourists follows her journey to the station, where she fulfilled «an age-old dream of man: to leave our planet as a ‘normal person’ and travel into outer space.

In , spaceflight participant Richard Garriott placed a geocache aboard the ISS during his flight. A wide variety of crewed and uncrewed spacecraft have supported the station’s activities.

There are currently twelve available docking ports for visiting spacecraft: []. As of 30 December [ref] , people from 20 countries had visited the space station, many of them multiple times. Uncrewed spaceflights to the ISS are made primarily to deliver cargo, however several Russian modules have also docked to the outpost following uncrewed launches.

The primary docking system for Progress spacecraft is the automated Kurs system, with the manual TORU system as a backup. Progress and former ATV can remain docked for up to six months. As of December [update] , Progress spacecraft have flown most of the uncrewed missions to the ISS. All Russian spacecraft and self-propelled modules are able to rendezvous and dock to the space station without human intervention using the Kurs radar docking system from over kilometres away.

When it catches up it uses laser equipment to optically recognise Zvezda , along with the Kurs system for redundancy. Crew supervise these craft, but do not intervene except to send abort commands in emergencies. Progress and ATV supply craft can remain at the ISS for six months, [] [] allowing great flexibility in crew time for loading and unloading of supplies and trash. From the initial station programs, the Russians pursued an automated docking methodology that used the crew in override or monitoring roles.

Although the initial development costs were high, the system has become very reliable with standardisations that provide significant cost benefits in repetitive operations. Soyuz spacecraft used for crew rotation also serve as lifeboats for emergency evacuation; they are replaced every six months and were used after the Columbia disaster to return stranded crew from the ISS. Other vehicles berth instead of docking.

The Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle parked itself in progressively closer orbits to the station, and then awaited ‘approach’ commands from the crew, until it was close enough for a robotic arm to grapple and berth the vehicle to the USOS. Berthed craft can transfer International Standard Payload Racks.

Japanese spacecraft berth for one to two months. Prior to a spacecraft’s docking to the ISS, navigation and attitude control GNC is handed over to the ground control of the spacecraft’s country of origin. GNC is set to allow the station to drift in space, rather than fire its thrusters or turn using gyroscopes.

The solar panels of the station are turned edge-on to the incoming spacecraft, so residue from its thrusters does not damage the cells. Before its retirement, Shuttle launches were often given priority over Soyuz, with occasional priority given to Soyuz arrivals carrying crew and time-critical cargoes, such as biological experiment materials.

Orbital Replacement Units ORUs are spare parts that can be readily replaced when a unit either passes its design life or fails. Examples of ORUs are pumps, storage tanks, controller boxes, antennas, and battery units. Some units can be replaced using robotic arms. Both kinds of pallets provide electricity for many parts that could be damaged by the cold of space and require heating. The larger logistics carriers also have local area network LAN connections for telemetry to connect experiments. Unexpected problems and failures have impacted the station’s assembly time-line and work schedules leading to periods of reduced capabilities and, in some cases, could have forced abandonment of the station for safety reasons.

Serious problems include an air leak from the USOS in , [] the venting of fumes from an Elektron oxygen generator in , [] and the failure of the computers in the ROS in during STS that left the station without thruster, Elektron , Vozdukh and other environmental control system operations. In the latter case, the root cause was found to be condensation inside electrical connectors leading to a short circuit.

During STS in and following the relocation of the P6 truss and solar arrays, it was noted during unfurling that the solar array had torn and was not deploying properly. Extra precautions were taken to reduce the risk of electric shock, as the repairs were carried out with the solar array exposed to sunlight. Excessive vibration and high-current spikes in the array drive motor were noted, resulting in a decision to substantially curtail motion of the starboard SARJ until the cause was understood.

Inspections during EVAs on STS and STS showed extensive contamination from metallic shavings and debris in the large drive gear and confirmed damage to the large metallic bearing surfaces, so the joint was locked to prevent further damage.

In September , damage to the S1 radiator was first noticed in Soyuz imagery. The problem was initially not thought to be serious.

On 15 May the damaged radiator panel’s ammonia tubing was mechanically shut off from the rest of the cooling system by the computer-controlled closure of a valve. The same valve was then used to vent the ammonia from the damaged panel, eliminating the possibility of an ammonia leak. In the early hours of 1 August , a failure in cooling Loop A starboard side , one of two external cooling loops, left the station with only half of its normal cooling capacity and zero redundancy in some systems.

Several subsystems, including two of the four CMGs, were shut down. A first EVA on 7 August , to replace the failed pump module, was not fully completed because of an ammonia leak in one of four quick-disconnects.

A second EVA on 11 August successfully removed the failed pump module. In late MBSU-1 ceased responding to commands or sending data confirming its health.

While still routing power correctly, it was scheduled to be swapped out at the next available EVA. A spare MBSU was already on board, but a 30 August EVA failed to be completed when a bolt being tightened to finish installation of the spare unit jammed before the electrical connection was secured.

On 24 December , astronauts installed a new ammonia pump for the station’s cooling system. The faulty cooling system had failed earlier in the month, halting many of the station’s science experiments. Astronauts had to brave a «mini blizzard» of ammonia while installing the new pump. A typical day for the crew begins with a wake-up at , followed by post-sleep activities and a morning inspection of the station. The crew then eats breakfast and takes part in a daily planning conference with Mission Control before starting work at around The first scheduled exercise of the day follows, after which the crew continues work until Following a one-hour lunch break, the afternoon consists of more exercise and work before the crew carries out its pre-sleep activities beginning at , including dinner and a crew conference.

The scheduled sleep period begins at In general, the crew works ten hours per day on a weekday, and five hours on Saturdays, with the rest of the time their own for relaxation or work catch-up. The station provides crew quarters for each member of the expedition’s crew, with two «sleep stations» in the Zvezda , one in Nauka and four more installed in Harmony.

The ROS crew quarters in Zvezda include a small window, but provide less ventilation and sound proofing. A crew member can sleep in a crew quarter in a tethered sleeping bag, listen to music, use a laptop, and store personal items in a large drawer or in nets attached to the module’s walls. The module also provides a reading lamp, a shelf and a desktop. It is possible to sleep floating freely through the station, but this is generally avoided because of the possibility of bumping into sensitive equipment.

On the USOS, most of the food aboard is vacuum sealed in plastic bags; cans are rare because they are heavy and expensive to transport. Preserved food is not highly regarded by the crew and taste is reduced in microgravity, [] so efforts are taken to make the food more palatable, including using more spices than in regular cooking.

The crew looks forward to the arrival of any spacecraft from Earth as they bring fresh fruit and vegetables. Care is taken that foods do not create crumbs, and liquid condiments are preferred over solid to avoid contaminating station equipment.

Each crew member has individual food packages and cooks them using the on-board galley. The galley features two food warmers, a refrigerator added in November , and a water dispenser that provides both heated and unheated water. Any food that floats away, including crumbs, must be collected to prevent it from clogging the station’s air filters and other equipment. Showers on space stations were introduced in the early s on Skylab and Salyut 3. Crews are also provided with rinseless shampoo and edible toothpaste to save water.

Astronauts first fasten themselves to the toilet seat, which is equipped with spring-loaded restraining bars to ensure a good seal. Solid waste is collected in individual bags which are stored in an aluminium container. Full containers are transferred to Progress spacecraft for disposal.

The diverted urine is collected and transferred to the Water Recovery System, where it is recycled into drinking water. Several long-lasting changes were observed, including those related to alterations in DNA and cognition , when one twin was compared with the other. In November , researchers reported that astronauts experienced serious blood flow and clot problems while on board the ISS, based on a six-month study of 11 healthy astronauts.

The results may influence long-term spaceflight, including a mission to the planet Mars, according to the researchers. The ISS is partially protected from the space environment by Earth’s magnetic field. From an average distance of about 70, km 43, mi from the Earth’s surface, depending on Solar activity, the magnetosphere begins to deflect solar wind around Earth and the space station.

Solar flares are still a hazard to the crew, who may receive only a few minutes warning. In , during the initial «proton storm» of an X-3 class solar flare, the crew of Expedition 10 took shelter in a more heavily shielded part of the ROS designed for this purpose. Subatomic charged particles, primarily protons from cosmic rays and solar wind, are normally absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere. When they interact in sufficient quantity, their effect is visible to the naked eye in a phenomenon called an aurora.

Outside Earth’s atmosphere, ISS crews are exposed to approximately one millisievert each day about a year’s worth of natural exposure on Earth , resulting in a higher risk of cancer. Radiation can penetrate living tissue and damage the DNA and chromosomes of lymphocytes ; being central to the immune system , any damage to these cells could contribute to the lower immunity experienced by astronauts.

Radiation has also been linked to a higher incidence of cataracts in astronauts. Protective shielding and medications may lower the risks to an acceptable level. Radiation levels on the ISS are about five times greater than those experienced by airline passengers and crew, as Earth’s electromagnetic field provides almost the same level of protection against solar and other types of radiation in low Earth orbit as in the stratosphere.

For example, on a hour flight, an airline passenger would experience 0. Additionally, airline passengers experience this level of radiation for a few hours of flight, while the ISS crew are exposed for their whole stay on board the station.

There is considerable evidence that psychosocial stressors are among the most important impediments to optimal crew morale and performance. NASA’s interest in psychological stress caused by space travel, initially studied when their crewed missions began, was rekindled when astronauts joined cosmonauts on the Russian space station Mir.

Common sources of stress in early US missions included maintaining high performance under public scrutiny and isolation from peers and family.

The latter is still often a cause of stress on the ISS, such as when the mother of NASA astronaut Daniel Tani died in a car accident, and when Michael Fincke was forced to miss the birth of his second child.

A study of the longest spaceflight concluded that the first three weeks are a critical period where attention is adversely affected because of the demand to adjust to the extreme change of environment. The ISS working environment includes further stress caused by living and working in cramped conditions with people from very different cultures who speak a different language.

First-generation space stations had crews who spoke a single language; second- and third-generation stations have crew from many cultures who speak many languages. Astronauts must speak English and Russian , and knowing additional languages is even better. Due to the lack of gravity, confusion often occurs. Even though there is no up and down in space, some crew members feel like they are oriented upside down. They may also have difficulty measuring distances. This can cause problems like getting lost inside the space station, pulling switches in the wrong direction or misjudging the speed of an approaching vehicle during docking.

The physiological effects of long-term weightlessness include muscle atrophy , deterioration of the skeleton osteopenia , fluid redistribution, a slowing of the cardiovascular system, decreased production of red blood cells, balance disorders, and a weakening of the immune system. Lesser symptoms include loss of body mass, and puffiness of the face. Sleep is regularly disturbed on the ISS because of mission demands, such as incoming or departing spacecraft.

Sound levels in the station are unavoidably high. The atmosphere is unable to thermosiphon naturally, so fans are required at all times to process the air which would stagnate in the freefall zero-G environment.

To prevent some of the adverse effects on the body, the station is equipped with: two TVIS treadmills including the COLBERT ; the ARED Advanced Resistive Exercise Device , which enables various weightlifting exercises that add muscle without raising or compensating for the astronauts’ reduced bone density; [] and a stationary bicycle. Each astronaut spends at least two hours per day exercising on the equipment. Hazardous moulds that can foul air and water filters may develop aboard space stations.

They can produce acids that degrade metal, glass, and rubber. They can also be harmful to the crew’s health. Microbiological hazards have led to a development of the LOCAD-PTS which identifies common bacteria and moulds faster than standard methods of culturing , which may require a sample to be sent back to Earth. Contamination on space stations can be prevented by reduced humidity, and by using paint that contains mould-killing chemicals, as well as the use of antiseptic solutions.

All materials used in the ISS are tested for resistance against fungi. The results may be useful in improving the health and safety conditions for astronauts. Space flight is not inherently quiet, with noise levels exceeding acoustic standards as far back as the Apollo missions. When compared to terrestrial environments, the noise levels incurred by astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS may seem insignificant and typically occur at levels that would not be of major concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — rarely reaching 85 dBA.

But crew members are exposed to these levels 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with current missions averaging six months in duration. These levels of noise also impose risks to crew health and performance in the form of sleep interference and communication, as well as reduced alarm audibility. Over the 19 plus year history of the ISS, significant efforts have been put forth to limit and reduce noise levels on the ISS.

During design and pre-flight activities, members of the Acoustic Subgroup have written acoustic limits and verification requirements, consulted to design and choose quietest available payloads, and then conducted acoustic verification tests prior to launch.

The acoustic environment on ISS changed when additional modules were added during its construction, and as additional spacecraft arrive at the ISS. The Acoustics Subgroup has responded to this dynamic operations schedule by successfully designing and employing acoustic covers, absorptive materials, noise barriers , and vibration isolators to reduce noise levels.

Moreover, when pumps, fans, and ventilation systems age and show increased noise levels, this Acoustics Subgroup has guided ISS managers to replace the older, noisier instruments with quiet fan and pump technologies, significantly reducing ambient noise levels.

NASA has adopted most-conservative damage risk criteria based on recommendations from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the World Health Organization , in order to protect all crew members. The MMOP Acoustics Subgroup has adjusted its approach to managing noise risks in this unique environment by applying, or modifying, terrestrial approaches for hearing loss prevention to set these conservative limits.

Guidance for use of HPDs, either mandatory use or recommended, is then documented in the Noise Hazard Inventory, and posted for crew reference during their missions. The Acoustics Subgroup also tracks spacecraft noise exceedances, applies engineering controls , and recommends hearing protective devices to reduce crew noise exposures.

Finally, hearing thresholds are monitored on-orbit, during missions. An onboard fire or a toxic gas leak are other potential hazards. Ammonia is used in the external radiators of the station and could potentially leak into the pressurised modules. The ISS is currently maintained in a nearly circular orbit with a minimum mean altitude of km mi and a maximum of km mi , [] in the centre of the thermosphere , at an inclination of After the retirement of the shuttle, the nominal orbit of the space station was raised in altitude from about km to about km.

Atmospheric drag reduces the altitude by about 2 km a month on average. Orbital boosting can be performed by the station’s two main engines on the Zvezda service module, or Russian or European spacecraft docked to Zvezda ‘s aft port. The Automated Transfer Vehicle is constructed with the possibility of adding a second docking port to its aft end, allowing other craft to dock and boost the station.

It takes approximately two orbits three hours for the boost to a higher altitude to be completed. The FTCs each contain three identical processing units working in parallel and provide advanced fault-masking by majority voting.

Zvezda uses gyroscopes reaction wheels and thrusters to turn itself around. Gyroscopes do not require propellant; instead they use electricity to ‘store’ momentum in flywheels by turning in the opposite direction to the station’s movement. The USOS has its own computer-controlled gyroscopes to handle its extra mass. When gyroscopes ‘saturate’ , thrusters are used to cancel out the stored momentum.

In February , during Expedition 10, an incorrect command was sent to the station’s computer, using about 14 kilograms of propellant before the fault was noticed and fixed. The low altitudes at which the ISS orbits are also home to a variety of space debris, [] including spent rocket stages, defunct satellites, explosion fragments including materials from anti-satellite weapon tests , paint flakes, slag from solid rocket motors, and coolant released by US-A nuclear-powered satellites.

These objects, in addition to natural micrometeoroids , [] are a significant threat. Objects large enough to destroy the station can be tracked, and are not as dangerous as smaller debris. Despite their small size, some of these objects are a threat because of their kinetic energy and direction in relation to the station.

Spacewalking crew in spacesuits are also at risk of suit damage and consequent exposure to vacuum. Ballistic panels, also called micrometeorite shielding, are incorporated into the station to protect pressurised sections and critical systems. The type and thickness of these panels depend on their predicted exposure to damage. The US segment modules consist of an inner layer made from 1. On the ROS, a carbon fibre reinforced polymer honeycomb screen is spaced from the hull, an aluminium honeycomb screen is spaced from that, with a screen-vacuum thermal insulation covering, and glass cloth over the top.

Space debris is tracked remotely from the ground, and the station crew can be notified. These Debris Avoidance Manoeuvres DAMs are not uncommon, taking place if computational models show the debris will approach within a certain threat distance. Ten DAMs had been performed by the end of If necessary, the altitude can also be lowered, although such a manoeuvre wastes propellant. This partial station evacuation has occurred on 13 March , 28 June , 24 March and 16 June In November , a debris cloud from the destruction of Kosmos by an anti-satellite weapons test threatened the ISS, leading to the announcement of a yellow alert, leading to crew sheltering in the crew capsules.

Radar -trackable objects, including debris, with distinct ring of geostationary satellites. The ISS is visible to the naked eye as a slow-moving, bright white dot because of reflected sunlight, and can be seen in the hours after sunset and before sunrise, when the station remains sunlit but the ground and sky are dark.

Tools are provided by a number of websites such as Heavens-Above see Live viewing below as well as smartphone applications that use orbital data and the observer’s longitude and latitude to indicate when the ISS will be visible weather permitting , where the station will appear to rise, the altitude above the horizon it will reach and the duration of the pass before the station disappears either by setting below the horizon or entering into Earth’s shadow.

In November NASA launched its «Spot the Station» service, which sends people text and email alerts when the station is due to fly above their town. Under specific conditions, the ISS can be observed at night on five consecutive orbits. Those conditions are 1 a mid-latitude observer location, 2 near the time of the solstice with 3 the ISS passing in the direction of the pole from the observer near midnight local time.

The three photos show the first, middle and last of the five passes on 5—6 June Using a telescope-mounted camera to photograph the station is a popular hobby for astronomers, [] while using a mounted camera to photograph the Earth and stars is a popular hobby for crew.

Transits of the ISS infront of the Sun, particularly during an eclipse and so the Earth, Sun, Moon, and ISS are all positioned approximately in a single line are of particular interest for amateur astronomers. Involving five space programs and fifteen countries, [] the International Space Station is the most politically and legally complex space exploration programme in history. A series of subsequent agreements govern other aspects of the station, ranging from jurisdictional issues to a code of conduct among visiting astronauts.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine , continued cooperation between Russia and other countries on the International Space Station has been put into question. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented on the current status of cooperation, saying «I have been broadly in favour of continuing artistic and scientific collaboration, but in the current circumstances it’s hard to see how even those can continue as normal.

There’s also the chance of impact of the ton construction in India or China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS doesn’t fly over Russia, so all the risk is yours. Are you ready for it? On 26 July , Yury Borisov , Rogozin’s successor as head of Roscosmos, submitted to Russian President Putin plans for withdrawal from the programme after According to the Outer Space Treaty , the United States and Russia are legally responsible for all modules they have launched.

The modules under consideration for removal from the current ISS included the Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka , launched in July , and the other new Russian modules that are proposed to be attached to Nauka. These newly launched modules would still be well within their useful lives in At the end of , the Exploration Gateway Platform concept also proposed using leftover USOS hardware and Zvezda 2 as a refuelling depot and service station located at one of the Earth-Moon Lagrange points.

However, the entire USOS was not designed for disassembly and will be discarded. Part of Boeing’s services under the contract will relate to extending the station’s primary structural hardware past to the end of There have also been suggestions that the station could be converted to commercial operations after it is retired by government entities. This bill was unanimously approved in the Senate, but failed to pass in the U.

The ISS has been described as the most expensive single item ever constructed. This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Modular space station in low Earth orbit. For other uses, see ISS disambiguation. International Space Station program insignia. Station elements as of November [update] exploded view. Main article: Scientific research on the International Space Station.

Comet Lovejoy photographed by Expedition 30 commander Dan Burbank. Main article: Manufacturing of the International Space Station. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Zarya ISS module. Main article: Unity ISS module. Main article: Zvezda ISS module. Main article: Destiny ISS module. Main article: Quest Joint Airlock. Main article: Poisk ISS module. Main article: Harmony ISS module. Main article: Tranquility ISS module. Main article: Columbus ISS module. Main article: Cupola ISS module. Main article: Rassvet ISS module. Main article: Leonardo ISS module.

Main article: Nanoracks Bishop Airlock. Main article: Nauka ISS module. Main article: Prichal ISS module. Commander Volkov stands on Pirs with his back to the Soyuz whilst operating the manual Strela crane which is holding photographer Oleg Kononenko. Dextre , like many of the station’s experiments and robotic arms, can be operated from Earth, allowing tasks to be performed while the crew sleeps. Main article: Pirs ISS module. Main article: Axiom Orbital Segment. Main article: B Main article: Nautilus-X.

See also: List of International Space Station expeditions. Zarya and Unity were entered for the first time on 10 December Soyuz TM being prepared to bring the first resident crew to the station in October See also: Space tourism. Main article: List of human spaceflights to the International Space Station. See also: Docking and berthing of spacecraft. Main article: International Space Station maintenance. See also: Space food.

The space toilet in the Zvezda module in the Russian segment. The main toilet in the US Segment inside the Tranquility module. Main article: Effect of spaceflight on the human body. See also: Coronal mass ejection. See also: Microbiological environmental hazards on the Mir space station. Earth is not shown. Main article: Space debris.


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