Press Release

Science Democrats Congratulate NASA on 15th Anniversary of the International Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
November 20, 2013
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Science Democrats Congratulate NASA on 15th Anniversary of the International Space Station

(Washington, DC) – Today marks the 15th anniversary of the start of construction of the International Space Station (ISS).  On November 20, 1998, the Zarya Module, the first of many modules to form an ever expanding orbital laboratory, was launched into orbit.  Completed in 2011, the station, including its large solar arrays, now spans the area of a football field, including the end zones, and weighs over 900,000 pounds.  The ISS is an unprecedented technological and political achievement.

Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said, “The International Space Station is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of our Nation’s space program. It stands as one of the engineering marvels of this or any other age, and a testament to American ingenuity and perseverance. Now fifteen years old, it continues to remind us that continued investment in our Nation’s space program can yield valuable and inspiring results, as evidenced by the numerous research projects that have flown on the laboratory.   NASA should be proud of having built a robust facility for testing life support systems and other technologies to ensure they work in space and are reliable.   When we go to Mars, and we will, that journey will require such robust systems.  Congress must affirm the promise of the ISS in enabling future space exploration as well as carrying out basic and applied research by providing adequate funding.”

 Space Subcommittee Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) said, “On the ISS’s 15th birthday, I congratulate NASA, its international partners, and NASA’s workforce and supporting contractors for their perseverance and skill in assembling and operating this unique facility. We need a better understanding of unknowns such as bone loss and how human beings react to long-term space travel before we can make concrete plans for sending humans to explore faraway places like Mars.  These types of vital studies conducted by astronauts in orbit are enabled by the equally important work carried out by talented teams here at home.”

SpaceRef staff editor.