International Space Station.

Essay by gladiators21 April 2003

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International Space Station

The International Space Station is the doorway to the future of mankind and the world, as it is known. The scientific and medical discoveries that will be made on the station could create billions of dollars annually. A plan like this, arranged to benefit the whole world economy, should sound like a good idea to every person, but some believe that the ISS is too risky, too ineffective, or too costly to create. Whether or not the space station is worth the money, time, and effort, one thing is clear, everyone is interested in this virtual floating laboratory and what assets or liabilities it will bring. The future of scientific experimentation and exploration may be located, not on earth, but on the man made island called the International Space Station. Of all the factors that go into building a space station, construction of the massive object is the most tedious objective.

During the building of the ISS, tensions have run high several times when deadlines were missed or funds were not available. This space station is the most expansive mission the world has ever encountered. The International Space Station will be a fifteen-country mission. When finished, it will boast over an acre of solar panels for heating and energy, have a volume roughly sizable to two jumbo jets, and contain four times the electrical power of the Russian space station, Mir. It will take approximately forty-five flights over the next five years to assemble the one hundred pieces of the station while circling the orbit of the earth (Goldin 11). This floating station, the size of a large football stadium, which is traveling at over 17,500 miles per hour around the earth, will have a minimum life expectancy of only ten years, although scientists hope for...