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International Space Station: a unique laboratory in Earth's orbit

February 26, 2015, 15:38 UTC+3
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced its decision to approve using the International Space Station until 2024
1 pages in this article
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The International Space Station consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. Photo: International Space Station photographed soon after the space shuttle Atlantis and the station began their post-undocking separation, 2009
The International Space Station consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. Photo: International Space Station photographed soon after the space shuttle Atlantis and the station began their post-undocking separation, 2009
The International Space Station consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. Photo: International Space Station photographed soon after the space shuttle Atlantis and the station began their post-undocking separation, 2009
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
The station serves as research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. Photo: NASA astronaut during the spacewalk, 2011
The station serves as research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. Photo: NASA astronaut during the spacewalk, 2011
The station serves as research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. Photo: NASA astronaut during the spacewalk, 2011
© EPA/NASA T.V./HANDOUT
The station has been continuously occupied for more than 14 years since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. Photo: First crew of the International Space Station, US astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov in front of Soyuz TM rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, 2000
The station has been continuously occupied for more than 14 years since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. Photo: First crew of the International Space Station, US astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov in front of Soyuz TM rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, 2000
The station has been continuously occupied for more than 14 years since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. Photo: First crew of the International Space Station, US astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov in front of Soyuz TM rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, 2000
© EPA/POOL
The electrical system of the International Space Station uses solar cells to directly convert sunlight to electricity which allows the crew live comfortably and safely operate the station. Photo: Astronaut working with the port overhead solar array wing, 2006
The electrical system of the International Space Station uses solar cells to directly convert sunlight to electricity which allows the crew live comfortably and safely operate the station. Photo: Astronaut working with the port overhead solar array wing, 2006
The electrical system of the International Space Station uses solar cells to directly convert sunlight to electricity which allows the crew live comfortably and safely operate the station. Photo: Astronaut working with the port overhead solar array wing, 2006
© AP Photo/NASA
The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Photo: International Space Station seen from space shuttle Discovery, as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation, 2009
The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Photo: International Space Station seen from space shuttle Discovery, as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation, 2009
The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Photo: International Space Station seen from space shuttle Discovery, as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation, 2009
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
First component of ISS, module Zarya was launched in 1998. Photo: Astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman preparing to unfurl an antenna on the Russian-made module Zarya, 1998
First component of ISS, module Zarya was launched in 1998. Photo: Astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman preparing to unfurl an antenna on the Russian-made module Zarya, 1998
First component of ISS, module Zarya was launched in 1998. Photo: Astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman preparing to unfurl an antenna on the Russian-made module Zarya, 1998
© AP Photo/NASA TV
Over the next years the station continued to expand. Mobile Servicing System, or robotic system Canadarm2, was launched to the ISS in 2001. Photo: Astronaut Rick Linnehan, anchored to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint, as he participates in spacewalk, 2008
Over the next years the station continued to expand. Mobile Servicing System, or robotic system Canadarm2, was launched to the ISS in 2001. Photo: Astronaut Rick Linnehan, anchored to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint, as he participates in spacewalk, 2008
Over the next years the station continued to expand. Mobile Servicing System, or robotic system Canadarm2, was launched to the ISS in 2001. Photo: Astronaut Rick Linnehan, anchored to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint, as he participates in spacewalk, 2008
© EPA/NASA/HO
Canadarm2 plays a key role in station assembly and maintenance. Photo: The grasp of the International Space Station's robotic Canadarm2, 2012
Canadarm2 plays a key role in station assembly and maintenance. Photo: The grasp of the International Space Station's robotic Canadarm2, 2012
Canadarm2 plays a key role in station assembly and maintenance. Photo: The grasp of the International Space Station's robotic Canadarm2, 2012
© EPA/NASA/HO
All the station's modules except Rassvet required installation by crewmembers using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Photo: ESA astronaut participating in the session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
All the station's modules except Rassvet required installation by crewmembers using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Photo: ESA astronaut participating in the session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
All the station's modules except Rassvet required installation by crewmembers using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Photo: ESA astronaut participating in the session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
From June 5, 2011 astronauts added 159 components of the ISS during more than 1,000 hours of EVA. Photo: ESA astronaut participating in session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
From June 5, 2011 astronauts added 159 components of the ISS during more than 1,000 hours of EVA. Photo: ESA astronaut participating in session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
From June 5, 2011 astronauts added 159 components of the ISS during more than 1,000 hours of EVA. Photo: ESA astronaut participating in session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
Cupola, ESA-built observatory module of the ISS was delivered to the station in 2010. Photo: Astronaut George Zamka in a window of the newly-installed Cupola of the International Space Station, 2010
Cupola, ESA-built observatory module of the ISS was delivered to the station in 2010. Photo: Astronaut George Zamka in a window of the newly-installed Cupola of the International Space Station, 2010
Cupola, ESA-built observatory module of the ISS was delivered to the station in 2010. Photo: Astronaut George Zamka in a window of the newly-installed Cupola of the International Space Station, 2010
© AP Photo/NASA
Cupola is a seven window observatory, used to view Earth and docking spacecraft. Photo: A fisheye lens view of planet Earth seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the ISS, 2013
Cupola is a seven window observatory, used to view Earth and docking spacecraft. Photo: A fisheye lens view of planet Earth seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the ISS, 2013
Cupola is a seven window observatory, used to view Earth and docking spacecraft. Photo: A fisheye lens view of planet Earth seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the ISS, 2013
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
ISS crew members have an opportunity to enjoy unforgattable view. Photo: A night time European panorama revealing city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center, 2012
ISS crew members have an opportunity to enjoy unforgattable view. Photo: A night time European panorama revealing city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center, 2012
ISS crew members have an opportunity to enjoy unforgattable view. Photo: A night time European panorama revealing city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center, 2012
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
After the US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station. Photo: A Russian Soyuz capsule with the ISS crew landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, 2012
After the US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station. Photo: A Russian Soyuz capsule with the ISS crew landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, 2012
After the US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station. Photo: A Russian Soyuz capsule with the ISS crew landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, 2012
© AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, pool
The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. Photo: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy inside the Cupola of the International Space Station
The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. Photo: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy inside the Cupola of the International Space Station
The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. Photo: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy inside the Cupola of the International Space Station
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Photo: Docked Soyuz 13 (TMA-9) and Progress 22 resupply vehicle, 2006
The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Photo: Docked Soyuz 13 (TMA-9) and Progress 22 resupply vehicle, 2006
The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Photo: Docked Soyuz 13 (TMA-9) and Progress 22 resupply vehicle, 2006
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
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The International Space Station consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. Photo: International Space Station photographed soon after the space shuttle Atlantis and the station began their post-undocking separation, 2009
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
The station serves as research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. Photo: NASA astronaut during the spacewalk, 2011
© EPA/NASA T.V./HANDOUT
The station has been continuously occupied for more than 14 years since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. Photo: First crew of the International Space Station, US astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov in front of Soyuz TM rocket at Baikonur cosmodrome, 2000
© EPA/POOL
The electrical system of the International Space Station uses solar cells to directly convert sunlight to electricity which allows the crew live comfortably and safely operate the station. Photo: Astronaut working with the port overhead solar array wing, 2006
© AP Photo/NASA
The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Photo: International Space Station seen from space shuttle Discovery, as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation, 2009
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
First component of ISS, module Zarya was launched in 1998. Photo: Astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman preparing to unfurl an antenna on the Russian-made module Zarya, 1998
© AP Photo/NASA TV
Over the next years the station continued to expand. Mobile Servicing System, or robotic system Canadarm2, was launched to the ISS in 2001. Photo: Astronaut Rick Linnehan, anchored to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint, as he participates in spacewalk, 2008
© EPA/NASA/HO
Canadarm2 plays a key role in station assembly and maintenance. Photo: The grasp of the International Space Station's robotic Canadarm2, 2012
© EPA/NASA/HO
All the station's modules except Rassvet required installation by crewmembers using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Photo: ESA astronaut participating in the session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
From June 5, 2011 astronauts added 159 components of the ISS during more than 1,000 hours of EVA. Photo: ESA astronaut participating in session of extravehicular activity as construction goes on the International Space Station, 2006
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
Cupola, ESA-built observatory module of the ISS was delivered to the station in 2010. Photo: Astronaut George Zamka in a window of the newly-installed Cupola of the International Space Station, 2010
© AP Photo/NASA
Cupola is a seven window observatory, used to view Earth and docking spacecraft. Photo: A fisheye lens view of planet Earth seen from the Cupola on the Earth-facing side of the ISS, 2013
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
ISS crew members have an opportunity to enjoy unforgattable view. Photo: A night time European panorama revealing city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center, 2012
© EPA/NASA HANDOUT
After the US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station. Photo: A Russian Soyuz capsule with the ISS crew landing near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan, 2012
© AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, pool
The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. Photo: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy inside the Cupola of the International Space Station
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT
The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Photo: Docked Soyuz 13 (TMA-9) and Progress 22 resupply vehicle, 2006
© EPA/NASA/HANDOUT

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced its decision to approve using the International Space Station until 2024. Moscow plans to suspend international use of the station in 10 years and use parts of the ISS Russian segment to construct its own orbital system.

USA also announced its plans to jointly use the ISS for more 10 years. Last year, US suspended cooperation with Russia in the space sphere because of the situation around Ukraine. The only exception was the ISS project, which American specialists consider to be a unique platform for scientific experiments and observations.

The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station has been continuously occupied for more than 14 years since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. 

The International Space Station from various angles - in photo gallery by TASS.

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