Guide to the International Space Station

The International Space Station offers shelter in one of the most hostile environments possible: space.

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The International Space Station offers shelter in one of the most hostile environments possible: space. Over the years the many crews have had to maintain the station's myriad components to keep orbital outpost in working order. Look below to explore the facility that has kept astronauts from all over the world safe for over 15 years.

However, no matter how well the station is cared for, occasionally things go wrong. Only a few months ago, astronauts had to perform an emergency space walk to fix a broken cooling pump. On 13 March 2014, 9pm, Channel 4 will broadcast Astronauts: Houston We Have A Problem showing how astronauts deal with events when they depart from the procedures manual.

 

Solar Array Truss
NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Christopher Cassidy replace batteries in a truss during Space Shuttle missions STS-127 in 2009. This particular truss secures a pair of photovoltaic array, which provide solar power.
Solar Array Rotary Joint
NASA astronaut Steve Bowen services a Solar Array Rotary Joint, which allows the photovoltaic panels to track the Sun. The work was completed as part of Space Shuttle mission STS-126 in 2008.

Soyuz Spacecraft
Russia's Souyz spacecraft were first used to take astronauts to the ISS in late 2000. Since then, at least one Soyuz has been docked at all times in case the crew ever need to evacuate.
Cupola
ESA astronaut Paolo nespoli gazes out of the Cupola, a seven-window observatory that offers 360 degree views. It includes the largest window ever used in space.

 

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