20 Out of this World Facts & Figures About the International Space Station

1ISS sunrise

The International Space Station always sees the sun "rise" once every 90 minutes.

2Cold atom lab

There is a lab on the International Space Station dedicated to freezing atoms to nearly Absolute Zero in order to study Bose-Einstein condensates, the 5th form of matter.

3Space junk

In 2014, the International Space Station had to move 3 times in order to avoid being hit by space junk moving at 17,000 mph.

4ISS size

The International Space station is the size of a football field and can be spotted in night sky, as it is the third brightest object in the sky and orbits around the world every 92 minutes.

5Oxygen candles

There are “oxygen candles” also known as Vika oxygen generator that are sometimes used aboard the international space station and when ignited it provides enough oxygen for one person for 24 hours.

6Immortality Drive

On the International Space Station, there is a hard drive (Immortality Drive) that serves as a time capsule to preserve human DNA, in case some global cataclysm should occur on Earth. Among the DNA included on this drive are Stephen Hawking, Stephen Colbert, and Lance Armstrong.

7ISS Operating system

Before the ISS switched from Windows XP to Linux computers, Russian cosmonauts managed to carry infected USB storage devices aboard the station spreading computer viruses.

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The ISS uses gyroscopes to adjust its position to keep its solar panels facing the Sun.

9Temperature fluctuations

The ISS experiences temperature fluctuations from 200°F to -200°F as it orbits the Earth.

10Telepresence robots

The International Space Station is equipped with telepresence robots, meaning ground controllers can perform maintenance, conduct research, and do other tasks unsupervised while the crew sleeps.


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