International Space Station celebrates 20th anniversary

By Jamie Harris, Press Association Science Technology Reporter
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International Space Station celebrates 20th anniversary

The first piece of the Space Station was put into orbit on November 20 1998.

The International Space Station is celebrating 20 years since being launched into orbit.

On November 20 1998, Zarya was the first piece of the ISS, carried into space by a Russian Proton rocket.

The station was unmanned until nearly two years later, when American astronaut Shepherd along with Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko arrived on board on October 30 2000.

The ISS has been inhabited every day since, and crew members carry out research they would not be able to do on Earth.

However, it was not complete until 2011, when the final module was installed, and looks set to be decommissioned by 2028.

In its 20-year history, 230 individuals have been on board the station, originating from 18 different countries.