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International Space Station

International Space Station

The International Space Station’s role as a scientific laboratory and test bed for deep-space technology is crucial to humanity’s ability to improve life on Earth while pursuing opportunities in space.

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The International Space Station (ISS) is a permanently crewed on-orbit laboratory that enables scientific research supporting innovation on Earth and future deep space exploration. From design to launch, 15 countries collaborated to assemble the world's only permanently crewed orbital facility, which can house a crew of six and 150 ongoing experiments annually across an array of disciplines. The ISS represents a global effort to expand our knowledge and improve life on Earth while testing technology that will extend our reach to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Boeing officially turned over the U.S. on-orbit segment of the ISS to NASA on March 5, 2010, and continues to provide key engineering support services and capability enhancements, as well as processing for laboratory experiment racks. Boeing’s assessments have shown it is possible to sustain the life of the station’s primary structural hardware at least through 2030.

Feature Stories

Boeing reveals prototype of Gateway lunar orbiter

Boeing reveals prototype of Gateway lunar orbiter

May 6, 2019 in Space

Boeing has unveiled its Gateway Demonstrator, a prototype of the deep-space outpost that is key to the United States’ plan to return astronauts to the moon’s surface within five years.

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Boeing-developed spacesuit material to be tested outside ISS

Boeing-developed spacesuit material to be tested outside ISS

May 3, 2019 in Space

A unique material developed by a Boeing engineer to protect spacewalkers has been launched to the International Space Station (ISS) for its most challenging test yet.

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Diversity, teamwork key to continued ISS support

Diversity, teamwork key to continued ISS support

April 8, 2019 in Space

Our International Space Station team knows how important collaboration is to provide the best ideas for the ISS. This is critical as it welcomes NASA Commercial Crew spacecraft and remain operational until 2030 and beyond.

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In the DNA

In the DNA

August 22, 2017 in Space, Technology

United Arab Emirates student’s experiment launches to the International Space Station.

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Genes in Space: 17-Year-Old Winner’s Experiment Sent to ISS

Genes in Space: 17-Year-Old Winner’s Experiment Sent to ISS

April 13, 2016 in Space

17-year-old Anna-Sophia Boguraev won the inaugural Genes in Space competition in 2015.

 

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Celebration and Reconfiguration Aboard the International Space Station

Celebration and Reconfiguration Aboard the International Space Station

November 2, 2015 in Space

A tower astronauts will use to board Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner is rising in the Florida skyline.

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The 220-Mile-High Lab

The 220-Mile-High Lab

July 2, 2015 in Innovation, Space

Rotating 220 miles (354 km) above Earth is the International Space Station, where Boeing provides a safe environment for more than 200 experiments.

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International Space Station

A Step Closer to Deep Space

January 15, 2015 in Innovation, Space

The 15-year milestone marks the halfway point for the projected 30-year International Space Station program.

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CST-100: Next American space capsule

CST-100: Next American space capsule

September 16, 2014 in Space

NASA awards Boeing $4.2 billion to build and fly the United States’ next passenger spacecraft, the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100.

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Last shuttle commander virtually flies Boeing CST-100

Last shuttle commander virtually flies Boeing CST-100

February 27, 2014 in Space, Technology

Chris Ferguson, commander of the final space shuttle flight, virtually returns to space in the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator.

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Happy Anniversary ISS

Happy Anniversary ISS

November 20, 2013 in Space

The 15-year milestone marks the halfway point for the projected 30-year International Space Station program.

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Gateway

NASA is working with its partners and suppliers to design and develop the Gateway, a moon-orbiting outpost that will serve as a base for human and robotic expeditions on the moon, and for future missions to Mars. The U.S. presidential administration’s goal of “boots on the moon” in 2024 relies on the Gateway.

Boeing’s Gateway concept builds on the company’s experience from designing, building and operating the ISS for more than 20 years. Boeing is working on a habitation module and an airlock module that doubles as additional living/work space.

Launched aboard rockets including NASA’s Space Launch System, these Gateway modules and others would connect with one another in lunar orbit using NASA’s Orion capsule or a space tug. Following astronauts’ return to the moon’s surface via a lunar lander, the Gateway will become a hub for continuing missions to the moon and Mars for NASA, its international partners, and private companies.

International Space Station Technical Specifications

Length (pressurized section) 167 ft (51 m) Operating Altitude 220 nmi (407 km) average
Total Length 192 ft (58.5 m) Inclination 51.6 degrees to the Equator
Total Height 100 ft (30.5 m) Atmosphere Inside 14.7 psi (101.36 kilopascals)
Solar Array Wingspan 239 ft (72.8 m) Pressurized Volume 34,700 cu ft (habitable volume of
14,400 cu ft)
Integrated Truss Length 357 ft (109 m) Computers to Control Station 52
Mass (Weight) 919,964 lbs Power Generation 84 kw to 120 kw (usable power)

The Nations of the International Space Station

NASA selected Boeing as prime contractor for the International Space Station on Aug. 17, 1993, and the original cost-plus-award-fee contract began on Jan. 13, 1995. Boeing is responsible for maintaining the station at peak performance levels so the full value of the unique research laboratory is available to NASA, its international partners, other U.S. government agencies and private companies.

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Quick Facts

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION:

A LAB LIKE NO OTHER

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