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The International Space Station will be the size of a city block and one of the brightest objects in the sky. The work and expense will be shared by 16 nations; it will be dangerous and expensive. This is the largest peacetime engineering project in history. The international space station will orbit the Earth every 90 minutes. Its permanent population will be six or seven at a time. It will have solar wings and radiators spanning 356 feet and a width will be 262 feet. The station will have a mass of 1,005,021 pounds. The center will be a collection of motor home size labs, living quarters, and supply canisters. This will be put together in space like a giant Lego set. It will take 45 separate space launches and over at least six years.The first piece to be launched will be the Functional Cargo Block. It is a 20-ton multipurpose power and propulsion plant that will get the station assembly stated. This will have a pair of solar panels that will unfold in orbit to provide electrical power, as you can see in figure 1. Figure 1 The second piece is called NODE 1 it serves as a passageway between Russian and U.S. elements. As you can see in figure 2 it has six ports one on each end and 4 around the sides, one end will be docked with the Functional Cargo Block and the remaining ports will eventually get docked, as soon as the station grows more modules will be attached. The NODE 1 will hold the long solar arrays and radiators. It will also have an U.S. science lab and a habitation module where the astronauts can eat and sleep. There will be a second node, which will be brought to the station as it grows. Figure 2 The third station element (figure 3) will be sent up is the Service Module. It will dock on the opposite side of the Functional Cargo Block its docking will be done automatically by remote control. It will carry the environmental controls and life support system for the entire station. It will also have the primary docking port for the Russians spacecraft and the fuel and rockets for the attitude control and station reboost. Without the stations reboost system the station would reenter the earth s atmosphere and burn up.

Figure 3 Since the entire station is being put together in space, even if all the pieces fit together perfectly it will still be vary risky since the space station will be on its orbit while it is being built one piece at a time. Each piece added could change the way the station handles in its orbit. There are also computer problems that could cause problems. The computer components come from all over the world and must work together smoothly. Since the whole station is ran from computers the astronauts won t even be able to turn on the lights without the help from a computer. The completed station should look like figure 4. Figure 4 To build the space station special tools are needed. Some of them are a Body Restraint Tether this will attach to the space suit and can carry replacement parts as heavy as 75 pounds while the assortment moves to from worksheet to shuttle. A Pistol Grip Drill, which has a 3/8 inch drive and 25 foot-pounds of torque at 5 to 60 rpm, it has a programmable computer with preset torque and rpm speeds. A Round Scoop the scoop enables astronauts to hold objects without handles. The scoop locks onto specific cone-shaped fittings already on an object; these fittings will also allow the robotic arm to grasp them. The Ratchet Wrench is a 3/8 inch ratchet wrench handles objects requiring few turns and is a backup to the battery tools. This wrench can handle up to 120 foot-pounds of torque. A few hundred gallons of water are carried up to the station by a shuttle. But the water up there will quickly get dirty, but in space it has to be reused and recycled as efficiency as possible. The waste water composition will be shower water, oral hygiene, urine distillate, wet shave and human perspiration. The water is sent through many systems of purification and a high temperature processor that will remove bacteria, living viruses and fungi. Than the water is returned to the tap a few hours later, as ultrapure water that is cleaner than some U.S city s water. The purification system should look similar to figure 5. Figure 5


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