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International Space Station

Revised: Feb. 2011

The International Space Station, or ISS, is one of NASA's most controversial projects. It was proposed under the name of Space Station Freedom by President Reagan in 1983, four years after Skylab burnt up in the atmosphere above Australia. As the cost and complexity of the station grew, NASA invited other space agencies to join it, gaining support from Russia, Japan, Europe, Canada, and Brazil. Since 1998, when the first modules were launched, more modules and a rotating crew of astronauts and cosmonauts have ascended to low Earth orbit to live and work in outer space. As the Space Shuttle lofts the last modules, NASA's modules are being turned into a national laboratory, similar to the laboratories maintained by the Department of Energy, where the government owns the property, the laboratory is operated by a contractor, and questions of fundamental science are answered for the benefit of humanity.

But the ISS is more than just a laboratory. Several tourists have paid the Russian space agency for the privilege of flying from Tyuratam and staying in the Russian modules of the ISS. Also, various companies in America and elsewhere are working on private spacecraft which could send cargo and passengers to the ISS. If they succeed, a vision once thought to be science fiction could become reality: Regularly scheduled commercial flights to destinations in outer space.

You may also find useful resources in our pages on Space Colonization, Space Commercialization and Space Tourism, International Cooperation in Space, and Outsourcing and Insourcing. If you are a NASA HQ employee, please consider subscribing to our news alert on the International Space Station to get the latest news.

All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.


Contents: Policies Books Multimedia Internet Resources

NASA Policies

The following policies and procedural requirements can be accessed by anyone through the NASA Online Directives Information System:
 
NASA Policy Directive 8610.6G: Graphic Markings on Space Transportation Vehicles, U.S. Components of the International Space Station Component Systems, and Payloads

Books

Catchpole, John E. The International Space Station: Building for the Future. Berlin; New York: Springer; Chichester, UK: In association with Praxis, 2008.
TL797 .C38 2008 BOOKSTACKS
 
Congress. House. Committee on Science and Technology (2007). Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. NASA's International Space Station Program: Status and Issues: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Space and Astronautics, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, April 24, 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. G.P.O., 2008.
KF27. S3995 2007 C BOOKSTACKS
 
__________. NASA's Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs: Status and Issues: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, First Session, July 24, 2007. Washington, DC: U.S. G.P.O., 2008.
KF27 .S3995 2008 A BOOKSTACKS
 
Eckert, Paul, and Scott Hatton. The Sustainable Utilisation of the ISS Beyond 2015. Paris, France: International Astronautical Federation, 2009.
TL797 .S878 U855 2009 BOOKSTACKS
 
Evans, Cynthia A., et al. International Space Station Science Research Accomplishments During the Assembly Years: An Analysis of Results from 2000-2008. Hanover, MD: NASA Center for Aerospace Information, 2009.
TL797 .I575 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online as document no. 20090029998 through the NASA Technical Reports Server.
 
Government Accountability Office. International Space Station: Significant Challenges May Limit Onboard Research: Report to Congressional Requesters. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2009.
TL797 .N39 I584 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online through the website of the GAO.
 
__________. NASA: Challenges in Completing and Sustaining the International Space Station: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives: Statement of Cristina T. Chaplain. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2008.
TL521.312 .C4375 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online through the website of the GAO.
 
__________. NASA: Commercial Partners Are Making Progress, But Face Aggressive Schedules to Demonstrate Critical Space Station Cargo Transport Capabilities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2009.
TL521.312 .C4375 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online through the website of the GAO.
 
Howe, A. Scott., and Brent Sherwood (eds.). Out of This World: The New Field of Space Architecture. Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2009.
TL797 .O98 2009 BOOKSTACKS
 
International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board. International Space Station Lessons Learned as Applied to Exploration. Orlando, FL: Kennedy Space Center, 2009.
TL797 .I584 2009 BOOKSTACKS
 
Kitmacher, Gary H. Reference Guide to the International Space Station. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006.
TL797 .R44 K58 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Note: This title is available at the mission website of the International Space Station.
 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Era of International Space Station Utilization: Perspectives on Strategy from International Research Leaders. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2010.
TL797 .S878 U855 2010 BOOKSTACKS
 
__________. NASA Report to Congress Regarding a Plan for the International Space Station National Laboratory. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007.
TL797 .I584 N385 2007 BOOKSTACKS
 
__________. An Opportunity to Educate: International Space Station National Laboratory. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2008.
TL521.312 .O67 2008 BOOKSTACKS
 
ProOrbis, LLC. Reference Model for the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. Malvern, PA: ProOrbis, 2010.
TL797 .I584 P766 2010 BOOKSTACKS
 
Review of NASA Strategic Roadmaps: Space Station Panel, National Research Council. Review of NASA Plans for the International Space Station. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2006.
TL797 .I58 R48 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online through the National Academies Press.
 
Thomas, Donald A., Julie A. Robinson, Judy Tate, and Tracy Thumm. Inspiring the Next Generation: Student Experiments and Educational Activities on the International Space Station, 2000-2006. Hanover, MD: NASA Center for Aerospace Information, 2006.
TL797 .I575 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Also available online as document no. 20060015718 through the NASA Technical Reports Server.

Multimedia

Neeson, Liam. Inside the Space Station: A Fantastic First Step to Life Off Earth. Santa Monica, CA: Distributed by Artisan Home Entertainment, 2000.
TL797 .I54 2000 DVD VIDEO-COLL
 
Pioneer Video Corporation. ISS Around the World: Rocumentary 2. Nishihanawa, Japan: Pioneer Video Corporation, 2003.
TL797 .I5827 2003 DVD VIDEO-COLL
 

Internet Resources

NASA Websites
 
Boen, Brooke. International Space Station National Laboratory National Laboratory. Feb. 1, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/index.html
 
Garber, Stephen. The International Space Station. Jan. 20, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://history.nasa.gov/iss.html
Note: This is the NASA History Office's page, with links to several documents inside the NASA system (including this one).
 
Kauderer, Amiko. NASA-International Space Station. Feb. 10, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
 
Wilson, Jim. NASA-Shuttle and Station. Feb. 11, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/shuttle_station/index.html
 
NASA's International and Commercial Partners
 
Canadian Space Agency. International Space Station. Feb. 4, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/default.asp
 
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. 2011. [Jan. 4, 2012].
http://www.iss-casis.org/
This is the not-for-profit which manages the International Space Station.
 
European Space Agency. International Space Station. 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.esa.int/esaHS/iss.html
 
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. International Space Station. Feb. 9, 2011 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/index.html
 
RussianSpaceWeb. Russian Segment of the ISS. May 14, 2010 [Feb. 11, 2011]
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_russia.html

Last Updated: Feb. 2011