Russian Mission control for the ISS reported that the International Space Station completed the 100,000th orbit around the Earth on Monday. The Moscow-based station issued a statement saying:
“Today the ISS made its hundred thousandth orbit around Earth.”
The ISS completes one orbit around the Earth in 90 minutes. The space laboratory travels with a speed of 28000 km/hr at a height of about 400km. The 100,000th orbit lasted from 0435 to 0610 GMT.
The NASA celebrated the anniversary orbit on its official Twitter account. The fact check about ISS holds some exciting surprises like the fact that the ISS has traveled 2.6 billion miles, equivalent to the distance of ten round trips to Mars.
The American flight engineer on his third mission to the ISS, Jeff Williams said in his video message from the ISS:
“This is a significant milestone and is a tribute to this international partnership made up of the European Space Agency, of Russia, Canada, Japan and the United States.”
Along with Williams, Timothy Kopra, Britain’s Tim Peake and Russians Yury Malenchenko, Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka were also onboard ISS as the space station crossed the historic milestone.
The Russian head of the mission control, Maxim Matyushin also commended the role of ISS stating it to be a:
“Vivid example of real and effective international cooperation to carry out really large breakthrough projects that are crucial for the whole of civilisation.”
The first part of ISS, dubbed Zarya (literally meaning Dawn), was launched into space on November 20, 1998. In 2000, the station became the home of its first inhabitants, the US spaceman Bill Shepherd and Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko from Russia.
Currently, there are 15 modules of the ISS, which has grown roughly to the size of a football ground. Matyushin honored the human determination behind the project:
“Such a long lifespan of the ISS proves that mankind has the necessary technologies for constant presence in orbit, that we have the potential for further space exploration.”
Russia has been shuttling astronauts to the ISS from the Baikonur launching station in Kazakhstan after the similar program in the US was shut down.
The station maintains a regular crew of six members. The Soyuz capsules used to ferry the cosmonauts between the Earth and the ISS can accommodate three astronauts. Till date, 226 people from more than 15 countries have set foot on the ISS.
The ISS will continue to be operational till 2024.