Thursday, August 30, 2018

International Space Station

In his State of the Union Message to Congress in January 1984, President Ronald Reagan officially established the goal of developing a permanently inhabited station in orbit. Invitations were issued to Canada, Europe and Japan to join in the effort and agreements with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) were reached in September 1988, and with the Government of Japan in March 1989.

A new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was concluded on 29 January 1998 between the governments of the five International Partners – Europe (11 participating States), Canada, Japan, Russia and USA. This new IGA enlarges the earlier 1988-partnership agreement by including Russia in the largest international cooperative civil space programme ever undertaken.

The structure of the ISS Program as a cooperative international effort is based on a multilateral Intergovernmental Agreement between all of the involved governments, and on bilateral Memoranda of Understanding between NASA and the International Partner (IP) space agencies that represent these governments.

The management structure spelled out in these agreements specifies that each of the IPs will make certain hardware contributions and have certain responsibilities inside a framework in which the U.S. has leading management and integration roles.

The ISS Program brings together international flight crews; multiple launch vehicles; globally distributed launch, operations, training, engineering, and development facilities; communications networks; and the international scientific research community.

Elements launched from different countries and continents are not mated together until they reach orbit, and some elements that have been launched later in the assembly sequence were not yet built when the first elements were placed in orbit.

The International Space Station will afford scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs an unprecedented platform on which to perform complex, long-duration experiments in the unique environment of space. The station will maximize its particular assets: (1) prolonged exposure to microgravity, and (2) the presence of human experimenters in the research process.
International Space Station
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