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The incredible collaboration behind the International Space Station - Tien Nguyen


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The International Space Station is roughly the size of a six-bedroom house and weighs more than 320 cars -- it's so large that no single rocket could have lifted it into orbit. Instead, it was assembled piece by piece while hurtling through space at 28,000 kilometers per hour, lapping the Earth once every 90 minutes. Tien Nguyen explains how.

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This video was made in collaboration with U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

The signing of the Intergovernmental Space Station agreement was a historic occasion as so many nations came together fueled by a mutual curiosity and commitment to space exploration. Space collaboration on this scale was unprecedented and required intense planning. Read the original 53-page agreement here.

Missions to the International Space Station not only brought additional modules, but also smaller parts and supplies for assembly. Click here for a complete step-by-step guide to the ISS construction from the European Space Agency. Then, you can watch this quick 2-minute video that shows a computer-simulated time-lapse of the whole process. Amazing, wasn't it?

Thousands of experiments have been run on the International Space Station resulting in amazing scientific findings. You can find a complete up-to-date list of all the experiments run by NASA here. While there are numerous collaborations between researchers from all different nations, each research module was built by a particular country, which carries out experiments approved and funded by that country.

The first music video recorded in space was a cover of "Space Oddity" by Commander Chris Hadfield. The original singer David Bowie, who allowed Commander Hadfield to share the video online, has commended the video.

Do you know that you can sign up for text message alerts whenever the International Space Station will be flying overhead? Visit NASA's spot the station site, and you can catch the Station the next time it's in your neighborhood! Get outside and take a look!

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Tien Nguyen
  • Collaborator Office of Research Integrity
  • Director Hernando Bahamon
  • Artist Andrés Landazábal
  • Animator Ricardo Avila
  • Sound Designer Manuel Borda
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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