March 19 Meeting – The International Space Station

The Making of The International Space Station

Discussion led by Chuck Lesher

The International Space Station is the largest man-made structure ever built in space. From end to end, it is as long as a football field and can be seen from the ground by the unaided eye by observers who know when and where to look.


The $100 billion space station is the product of international cooperation among 15 different countries and five national space agencies representing the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. Construction began in 1998 and the first crew, Expedition 1, took up resident in 2000. Rotating crews of between three and six astronauts/cosmonauts have kept the space station permanently manned ever since.

Along with a bunch of images gleaned from various websites (mostly NASA), Chuck has put together a presentation showing the construction of the ISS and its present configuration. He will show several short videos including a recent 28-minute tour of the station given by Sunita Williams.  He will be bringing a model of the ISS designed and released in 2000. Chuck has tried to bring the model more in line with how the ISS actually turned out. The idea is to generate a nice discussion of the Space Station and perhaps tell you something you hadn’t know before. Should be fun.

The meeting will start at 11 am at our usual location at the Humanist Center in Mesa (627 W. Rio Salado Parkway). We will also have a short preview of the upcoming Space Access Conference from the event organizer, Henry Vanderbilt. As always, everyone’s welcome.


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