The International Space Station is an internationally developed
research facility currently being assembled in low Earth orbit.
On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled for
completion by late 2011. The station is expected to remain in operation
until at least 2015, and likely 2020. With a greater mass than that of
any previous space station, the ISS can be seen from Earth with the
naked eye, and is by far the largest artificial satellite that has ever
orbited Earth. The station serves as a research laboratory that has a
microgravity environment in which crews conduct experiments and
observations in various biological, chemical and physical sciences. The
ISS is operated by Expedition crews of 6 astronauts and cosmonauts,
with the station programme maintaining an uninterrupted human presence
in space since the launch of Expedition 1 on 31 October 2000, a total
of 9 years and 357 days, taking the record for the longest unbroken
human presence in space from the Mir programme today, 23 October 2010.
The ISS project began in 1994 with the Shuttle-Mir programme, and the
first module of the station, Zarya, was launched in 1998 by Russia.
Assembly continues, as pressurised modules and other components are
launched by American space shuttles, Russian Proton rockets and Russian
Soyuz rockets. The station currently consists of 14 pressurised modules
and an extensive integrated truss structure.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Valentinian III became Emperor of the Western Roman Empire at the age
The Battle of Edgehill, the first pitched battle of the First English
Civil War between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians, was fought to
an inconclusive result near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern
Great Britain declared war on Spain, starting the War of Jenkins' Ear.
The Hungarian Revolution began as a peaceful student demonstration
which attracted thousands as it marched through central Budapest to the
Operation Linebacker, a US bombing campaign against North Vietnam in
response to its Easter Offensive, ended after five months.
Lebanese Civil War: Suicide bombers destroyed two barracks in Beirut,
Lebanon, killing 241 U.S. servicemen and 58 French paratroopers of the
international peacekeeping force.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A cylindrical clay oven used, in Middle Eastern and South Asian
cuisine, to make flat bread, or to bake meat
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He
belongs to his character, to his author, to his public. He must do the
impossible to identify himself with the first, not to betray the
second, and not to disappoint the third. And to this end the actor must
forget his personality and throw aside his joys and sorrows. He must
present the public with the reality of a being who for him is only a
fiction. With his own eyes, he must shed the tears of the other. With
his own voice, he must groan the anguish of the other. His own heart
beats as if it would burst, for it is the other's heart that beats in
his heart. And when he retires from a tragic or dramatic scene, if he
has properly rendered his character, he must be panting and exhausted.
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