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Fun Space Facts for Kids

Explore our amazing space and astronomy facts. Learn about all kinds of different space topics that are sure to surprise.

Interesting facts about the International Space Station ISSFun ISS Facts for Kids

Check out these fun International Space Station (ISS) facts for kids. Enjoy a range of interesting facts about the International Space Station, how many astronauts have been to the station, how big the ISS is, how long the ISS has been in orbit around Earth for, what is the station used for and much more.


  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a habitable human-made satellite that orbits Earth at an altitude of between 330 km (205mi) and 435 km (270 mi).

  • The ISS comprises pressurised modules for astronauts to live in, external trusses for propulsion, solar arrays for power and many other amazing components.

  • The first part of the ISS sent to space was the module called Zarya. It was launched into space on a Russian Proton rocket on November 20th, 1998. Zarya provided propulsion, attitude control, communications and electrical power.

  • Two weeks later, NASA launched a module called Unity aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, successfully attaching it to the Zarya module. The Unity module was equipped with all the requirements for long-term human living.

  • The ISS is now the largest artificial body in orbit. It is 357 ft (109 m) in length, making the space station's area span about the size of an American football field.

  • The space station weighs nearly 925,000 pounds (419,500 kg's).

  • The ISS has 2 bathrooms, a gym and more room than a 6 bedroom house.

  • The space station is nearly 4 times bigger than the Russian space station Mir and about 5 times as large as the U.S. Skylab.

  • The ISS was built to be a space environment research laboratory and observatory, where crew members could conduct experiments in many scientific fields including: biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, and meteorology.

  • The station also provides valuable opportunities to test spacecraft systems and equipment and act as a staging base for possible missions to the Moon or Mars.

  • Approximately 3.3 million lines of computer code on the ground supports over 1.8 million lines of flight software code for the ISS.

  • Over eight miles of wire connects the electrical power system on the ISS.

  • The first ISS crew mission called 'Expedition 1' launched on a Russian Soyuz, October 31, 2000. The 3 Russian cosmonauts docked and entered the ISS on November 2nd, 2000. The space station has been continuously occupied since, making it the longest continuous human presence in space.

  • The ISS has been visited by astronauts and cosmonauts from 15 different nations. There has been a total of 352 flights to the ISS, by 211 individual people, 31 of these were women, and 7 were 'space tourists' (as of 2013).

  • As of 2013, 76 people have visited the ISS on two occasions, 25 people have made three trips to the station and amazingly 5 people have been four times.

  • As of 2013, there has been 174 spacewalks outside the modules in support of the ISS's construction and maintenance, that's almost 1,100 hours (nearly 46 days).

  • There's been 38 expeditions to the ISS as of 2013. An expedition can last up to six months. Early expeditions had 3 person crews, this was reduced to 2 person crews for safety, however today crew numbers regularly reach 6 people.

  • On average the ISS travels at 27,724 kilometres (17,227 mi) per hour.

  • The space station completes 15.5 orbits a day, which means the crew members on board the station experience a sunrise or sunset every 92 minutes.

  • The ISS programme is a joint project that involves 5 space agencies. NASA, of USA, Roskosmos of Russia, JAXA of Japan, CSA of Canada and ESA made up of agencies from France, Brazil, Malaysia, South Korea and Italy.

  • The Cupola module in the ISS has a 7 window observatory area which has been compared to the 'turret' of the Millennium Falcon in the movie Star Wars. 

  • The ISS is arguably the most expensive single item ever built. As of 2010, the cost of the station is believed to be $150 billion.

  • With the naked eye, the ISS can be seen from nearly every area of Earth at some point in time, it appears as a slow moving bright white dot in the night sky.

  • For more information about how astronauts do everyday tasks in zero gravity on the ISS, see our amazing Astronauts Videos page!

International Space Station (ISS)
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