for an additional fee. Limited number of seats are available. Seating begins at 11:30 am and lunch is served promptly at 11:45 am.
Take advantage of limited seating at the Astronaut Encounter Theater for the ISS 15th Anniversary Panel Discussion beginning at 12:30 pm. The panel discussion is your chance to hear first-hand how the crew of STS-88 was the first group of humans to enter the newly created International Space Station.
The panel discussion is included with general admission. Limited seating is available on a first-come basis.
Annual passholders call 877.737.5235 to make a Lunch With An Astronaut reservation or simply come to the Visitor Complex to attend the panel discussion at the Astronaut Encounter Theater.
For more than 15 years, 15 nations have come together to design, assemble, occupy and conduct research both inside and outside the largest and longest inhabited object to ever orbit the Earth − the International Space Station (ISS). Since the arrival of Expedition 1 on November 2, 2000, the station has continuously been occupied for 13+ years, the longest continuous human presence in space.
The ISS’s mission since 1998 is to benefit all humanity by serving as a laboratory to conduct scientific research and explore the universe, as well as by offering a truly unique environment for educational and cultural outreach.
The primary fields of research include Astrobiology, astronomy, human research including space medicine and life sciences, physical sciences, materials science, space weather and weather on Earth (meteorology).
The ISS provides a location in the relative safety of Low Earth Orbit to test spacecraft systems that will be required for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.
The ISS Program provides opportunities for students on Earth by running student-developed experiments, making educational demonstrations, allowing for student participation in classroom versions of ISS experiments, directly engaging students using radio, video link and email. The ISS and NASA offer a wide range of free teaching materials that can be downloaded for use in classrooms.
Space Station Crew Pays Tribute to ISS on 15th Anniversary
- The ISS orbits the Earth approximately once every ninety minutes.
- A total of 174 spacewalks have been conducted in support of space station assembly, totaling almost 1,100 hours or nearly 46 days.
- The International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC) helps farmers leverage images to grow sugar beets, spring wheat, sunflowers and soybeans.
- Ultrasound technology adapted from the space station’s achievements in remote telemedicine helps with prenatal care and diagnostic capacity where patients and doctors are separated by a great distance.
- The technology that went into developing neuroArm, the world's first robot capable of performing surgery inside magnetic resonance machines, was born from the Canadarm, the Canadian Space Agency's family of space robots performing the heavy-lifting and maintenance on board the International Space Station.
International Space Station Size and Mass
- Module Length: 167.3 feet (51 meters)
- Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters)
- Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
- Mass: 924,739 pounds (419,455 kilograms)
- Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters)
- Pressurized Volume: 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters)
- Power Generation: 8 solar arrays = 84 kilowatts
- Lines of Computer Code: approximately 2.3 million