How It Works
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The ISS in pictures

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* 1999 – The ISS comprises two components: Russia’s Zarya and the US’s Unity. There’s a single mission for supplies only.

* 2002 – A flurry of activity adds solar arrays, the Zvezda module, the Destiny lab, a robotic arm and the ESA’s logistics module.

* 2006 – After several years of maintenance after the Columbia disaster, a new solar array is connected to the electric system.


* 2007
– Extra trusses are added for more solar arrays and communication, plus the US Harmony node for bolting on new modules.


* 2010
– The final solar array, the Japanese Experiment Module, known as Kibo, and the Canadian Dextre robot are all installed.