This Monday, May 16, 2016, a symbolic milestone was reached by the International Space Station (ISS), since it crossed the bar of 100,000 orbits around the Earth, almost eighteen years after its launch on November 20. 1998.
It is a beautiful and symbolic step that was taken this Monday, May 16 by the International Space Station (ISS). The 100,000th » revolution of the station around our planet took place from 07:35 to 09:10 Moscow time“, i.e. between 04:35 GMT and 06:10 GMT, the Flight Control Center (Tsoup) said in a statement. A bar which is therefore crossed almost 18 years after its launch, in November 1998, to succeed the Russian orbital station Mir.
The ISS, whose total cost estimated at 100 billion dollars is largely financed by the United States, has been permanently occupied since November 2000 by joint crews called « Expeditions » which take turns on average every four to six month. It orbits at an altitude of nearly 400 km and circles the planet in just over 90 minutes at a speed of 28,000 km/h. In terms of dimensions, it is 88m long and 108m wide, with a weight of more than 450 tons. Its service life was extended last year until at least 2024.
Since its launch, more than 220 astronauts from 18 different nationalities, including French, Italians and Germans, have stayed in this orbital outpost. Almost 2000 scientific experiments have been carried out there, giving rise to 1200 scientific articles, recalls NASA in the video presented below. NASA also gives us other figures that give us an account of what these 100,000 orbits give us.
Thus, we learn that the ISS has traveled 2,643,342,240 kilometers, or even 10 round trips from Earth to Mars, or almost the distance to Neptune… Just that.