Longest human occupied space vehicle
On 25 October, 2010, NASA says the station set a record for being the longest continuously inhabited spacecraft. On that day, the ISS eclipsed the previous record of 3,644 days set by Russias Mir Space Station.
May 2009 saw the station become home to its first six-person crew, Expedition 20, which also marked the first time at least one crew member from each of the supporting space agencies was aboard at the same time, says NASA on its website.
NASA says Expedition 25 - the 25th crew to live and work aboard the station - consists of Commander Doug Wheelock; fellow NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Shannon Walker; and Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka. They are in the midst of a five-and-a-half month stay that will see a landing in March 2011, back in Kazakhstan.
The American space agency reports: Representatives of the five international agencies that built and operate the station have agreed in principle to continuing its use for another decade. The governments of the 15 participating nations in the station partnership are in the process of formally endorsing that plan.
"As we look forward to the next 10 years, taking us through 2020, the space station will serve many roles," said Mike Suffredini, International Space Station programme manager.
"With its permanent human presence, it will serve as a foothold for long-term exploration into space, being an integral part of testing human endurance, equipment reliability and processes essential for space exploration."
I have never ceased to be fascinated by space exploration and the determination of humanity to extend its knowledge of the universe.
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Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.
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