Did you know that you can see exactly what astronauts see aboard NASA’s International Space Station 24-hours a day, 365 days a year?!
It’s true! The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a 24-hour live YouTube feed showing what the crew of the International Space Station can see outside of their space station. It is an amazing experience to see Earth from the perspective of the brave men and women orbiting the Earth at over 17,150 miles per hour (27,600 km/h)!
While seeing Earth from this perspective can be thought-provoking, even life changing, few of us know the purpose of the International Space Station!
What Is the International Space Station?
The International Space Station (ISS) is a large spacecraft capable of supporting up to six crew members that orbits around the Earth, making a full trip around Earth every 90 minutes! The ISS was launched and placed into orbit in 1998 with its first crew members arriving on November 2, 2000.
Astronauts and cosmonauts perform a wide variety of experiments in and out of the ISS’s unique science laboratory to learn more about how humans can live and work in space.
Why is the International Space Station Important?
The ISS has allowed humans to have an ongoing presence in space since late-2000, allowing crew members to do special research that could not be done anywhere else! Scientists also study what happens to the body when people live in microgravity for a long time. (The condition of being weightless, or of the near absence of gravity.) NASA and its partners have also learned how to keep a spacecraft working well. All of these lessons will be important for future space exploration.
The lessons NASA learns from the ISS will allow humans to travel farther into space than ever before! This will enable scientists to better understand our solar system, how our planets formed, and come even closer to discovering life outside of Earth!