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10 things you don't know about the International Space Station

By: Katherine Butler on Aug. 29, 2011, 9:13 a.m.
Karen Nyberg looks out at earth from space with her hair floating around her

Photo: NASA

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Floating lab

The first phase of the International Space Station began in 1995 and is expected to remain in operation until 2020 or beyond. The station has a mass of 816,349 pounds, a pressurized volume of 29,561 cubic feet, a truss length of 357.5 feet, and 8 miles of wire connect the electrical power system. The ISS serves as a flying laboratory for numerous experiments. These experiments cover biological and physical research, earth science, human exploration of space, aerospace technology and the science of space. In this 2008 photo, astronaut Karen Nyberg looks out a window from the Kibo laboratory aboard the ISS.