The International Space Station (ISS) is a global collaboration in space engineering and technology and the largest scientific cooperative program in history. Canada, Japan, Russia, the United States, and 11 European nations represent the core partnership at the heart of the operation. Involvement and interest come from other countries in the world as well. ISS was first launched in 1998 and has been in operation ever since. It represents the first permanent human presence in space.
Powered by an array of solar photovoltaic cells spread like wings on a truss structure above the vessel, ISS is made up of a series of cylindrical cabins for work and habitation. Additional modules are launched and connected with each new mission. Not only do the men and women living in the space station manage many different ongoing experiments. But they are themselves experimental subjects. As they learn how to conduct life and work in the weightless environment of an orbiting spacecraft.