The International Space Station, (in English, International Space Station or ISS) is a research center in the Earth’s orbit, whose administration, management and development is in charge of international cooperation. The project works as a permanently manned space station, in which teams of astronauts and researchers from the five participating space agencies rotate: NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Japanese Space Exploration Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Agency. European Space (ESA). It is considered one of the greatest achievements of engineering.
The Brazilian Space Agency participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency similarly has separate contracts for various activities not included in the framework of the ESA’s works in the ISS (where Italy also fully participates).
In many ways the ISS represents a fusion of previously planned space stations: the Mir-2 of Russia, the US space station Freedom, the planned European module Columbus and the JEM (Japanese Module of Experiments). The first plans to set up a large international station date back to the 1980s. The station was planned at the time also under the name Alpha.
The ISS is under construction since 1998 and at present is the largest artificial object in Earth orbit. It completes one turn approximately every 92 minutes and is approximately 400 km from the surface of the Earth (data from February 2015), although its height may vary due to atmospheric friction and repeated propulsion. The inclination is 51.6 °.
The European Space Agency (Europen Space Agency- ESA) has created a virtual tour of the International Space Station. The route is through the Columbus Module and does not include the Russian Section. By the end of this year, it is scheduled to continue with the rest of the season.
The panoramic tour allows viewers to travel around the environment as it was in June 2015. It was created by joining images taken by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Also included in the tour are text files and video clips, in which Samantha explains the use of several pieces of equipment and places around the station which provides fascinating insight into how the crew of six lives and spends their time in orbit.