International Space Station makes 100,000th orbit
International Space Station makes 100,000th orbit

It is 100,000 laps around Earth and counting for the International Space Station (國際太空站).

The space station reached the orbital milestone – 17 and a half years in the making – in the morning on 16 May.

Nasa said these 100,000 orbits are akin to traveling more than 4.1 billion km. That is equivalent to 10 round trips to Mars, or almost one way to Neptune.

Each orbit takes about 90 minutes; 16 orbits comprise a day at the station.

Astronauts have been living continuously aboard the 400-km-high complex since 2000. Construction began two years before that.

Since then, 222 people have lived or visited there, the vast majority of them – 189 – men, according to Nasa.

Altogether, there have been 47 permanent crews representing the US, Russian, Canadian, Japanese and European space agencies.

Two Americans, three Russians and one Briton currently call the space station home.

They recently also achieved a photographic milestone, snapping the 3 millionth picture taken over the years from the scientific outpost.

“One-hundred-thousand orbits, the journey continues,” Nasa astronaut Jeffrey Williams said in a celebratory video from space.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 20 May 2016)

Nasa: International Space Station

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