The International Space Station (ISS) is a great international, technological, and political achievement. It is the latest step in humankind's quest to explore and live in space. The results of the research done on the ISS may be applied in various areas of science, enable us to improve life on this planet, and give us the experience and increased understanding that can eventually equip us to journey to other worlds.
This book is designed to provide a broad overview of the Station's complex configuration, design, and component systems, as well as the sophisticated procedures required in the Station's construction and operation.
The ISS is in orbit today, operating with a crew of three. Its assembly will continue through 2010. As the ISS grows, its capabilities will increase, thus requiring a larger crew. Currently, 16 countries are involved in this venture.