Happy Birthday: Space Station Celebrates 10 Years

Thursday, November 20th 2008, 7:15 am
By: News On 6

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Happy birthday to the international space station. And NASA couldn't have staged it any better with 10 people in orbit for today's 10th anniversary.

On Nov. 20, 1998, the first part of the space station was launched by the Russians. NASA followed up two weeks later with piece No. 2, carried up by a space shuttle. Astronauts and cosmonauts moved in two years later.

The space station has grown into a behemoth outpost 220 miles up, home to three people at any given time -- and that's expanding to six soon. NASA says it's about the size of a five-bedroom house.

The space station has traveled 1.3 billion miles, orbited Earth more than 57,300 times, hosted 167 people from 15 countries, and served up more than 19,000 meals.

The Russians have used the space station as a cash cow, selling rocket rides to the occasional millionaire tourist.

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