Any large structure designed for human occupation in space for extended periods of time. Space stations are used for carrying out astronomical observations and surveys of Earth, as well as for biological studies and the processing of materials in weightlessness. The first space station was the Soviet Salyut 1, launched in 1971. In 1973, NASA launched Skylab. The core of the Soviet space station Mir was launched in 1986. In 1998, the first component of the International Space Station, being constructed by the USA, Russia, and 14 other nations, was launched. The first crew arrived at ISS in November 2000 under the command of NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd. By 17 September 2001, six habitable modules had been added to the ISS.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.