November 2, 2015 marks a #Space living milestone of 15 years of humans living on the International Space Station (ISS). It was this date back in 2000 when a Russian Soyuz rocket first took astronauts to the station. Since that date, the ISS has been called home by 45 crews, with the first one, Expedition 1, including NASA astronaut William Shepherd and Roscosmos cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev.
In those 45 crews there have been 220 people from 17 different countries. The station has been used to run experiments that can’t be done in the Earth’s atmosphere and this space living milestone has also been a way to test what is needed for long missions in space, such as an eventual manned mission to Mars..
More than one space living milestone set on International Space Station
NASA’s Scott Kelly has set two records for Americans for how much cumulative time he has spent on the station, and the current number of days, having lived on the ISS for a full year, creating his own space living milestone record. Another man, Roscosmos’ Mikhail Kornienko, is also on his own one year mission to learn how long space missions affect humans.
Some of the interesting highlights in the 15 years during the ISS missions include good and bad memories. Sadly, in February 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up on its return from the ISS, killing all seven people aboard. On a happier note, that same year in August, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko married his fiancée, Ekaterina Dmitriev, from the station over a special phone line as Dmitriev stood next to a life-sized cutout of her husband-to-be.
In June 2007, space tourist Charles Simonyi went to the ISS with Expedition 15, stayed 12 days and then came back to Earth with Expedition 14. That same month, the ISS had computer problems and the computers that controlled the station’s oxygen output and its orientation crashed.
The ISS crew had to get innovative and ended up using thrusters from the Space Shuttle Atlantis to keep the ISS in position until the computers were fixed.
Station never given actual name, merely has a designation
The station was expected to be named instead of being called merely what it is. However, since it would become home to groups from all over the world, there was never a name that fit.
So, it remains just the International Space Station to this day, a place where people from several nations can work and do experiments that could impact all mankind and making breakthroughs that couldn’t have been accomplished here on Earth. There are three laboratory modules aboard the ISS. One is from the US, one is from Russia and one is from Japan.
Both Russia and the US have committed funding for the ISS through at least 2024, so its space living milestone will keep on adding more time for years to come.