International Space Station

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International space station sts132.jpg

The International Space Station or ISS is an international research facility built and supported by 15 countries around the world. It was originally intended to be a space station built and used only by the United States called Space Station Freedom. Eventually, politics and high costs forced NASA to collaborate with the Russian RKA and other countries to complete the design and construction of the station. This means that while some parts of the station are made by large American aerospace companies like Boeing, other sections are built from pieces intended by the Soviets for Mir-2. This is helpful because it gives the station very different redundant life support and control systems, but has also caused issues due to the decline of portions of the Russian space and defense industry.

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