n the world of human endeavor, the InternationalSpace Station (ISS) will break new ground. TheISS is a global undertaking of tremendousscientific and engineering magnitude.Beginning in 1998, at least 15 of theworld’s nations will collaborate to con-struct, operate, and utilize an orbitingspace laboratory with capabilities that willfar surpass current space research platforms.The ISS will afford scientists, engineers, andentrepreneurs a unique research facility inwhich to perform complex, long-durationexperiments. The Station is configured tomaximize the value of human interventionin the experimental process. Yet the ISS ismuch more than just a research laboratoryin a novel environment; it is an internationalhuman experiment—an exciting “city inspace.” Our corps of astronauts will cooperate onStation experiments with a community of inves-tigators on the ground. As we learn to live andwork “off planet” alongside our internationalpartners, investigators on Earth will manip-ulate orbiting experiments through thetechnologies of telescience, operating invirtual space to expand the boundaries of human participation in space research.This grand human experiment will playout as the Station executes its concurrentroles as:•An advanced testbed for technologyand human exploration•A world-class research facility•A commercial platform for spaceresearch and development
2The International Space Station
The International Space Station
The United States is partnering withRussia, Europe, Japan, and Canada tofund, build, and operate the ISS. Euro-pean states are represented throughmembership in the European SpaceAgency (ESA). Current ESA memberscooperating on the ISS are Belgium,Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, TheNetherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.NASA also holds bilateral agreementswith Brazil and Italy to supply certainstation components in exchange forresearch accommodations.