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Space Station
a rare inside view of the next frontier in space exploration

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The Station - Workingwhat is the purpose of the space station?

The mission of the International Space Station is to enable long-term exploration of space and provide benefits to people on Earth.

With six state-of-the-art laboratories, the Space Station will be the premiere research facility in space, four times larger and more capable than any previous space station. It is hoped that it will allow for advancements in medicine, technology and science. For example, studies in micro and hyper gravity will help researchers better understand its effects on humans and offer insight into how the human body works. Growing protein crystals in a space environment can help scientists create better treatment for numerous diseases that currently have no cure. In addition, the laboratories on the Space Station will allow for innovative space research projects to improve our understanding of the Earth's environment and the universe in which we live.

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The Station - Japanese LabsThe Space Station will also serve as the gateway to new frontiers in human space exploration, a place where we can learn how to live and work "off planet." It will allow for the study of long-term effects of weightlessness on the human body and as a test bed to understand what adjustments need to be made to current methods before astronauts are sent to Mars and beyond. In addition, it will allow for critical research in fluids, combustion, life support systems and the radiation environment, which is needed for future human space exploration.

 

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*Click on images for captions
Photo credits for all images: NASA.

Additional materials in this section courtesy of NASA and Boeing.

 

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