See How the Space Station was Built in Photos

Piece by piece
Final ISS
The ISS today. NASA
The Final ISS in space with the Earth in the background

The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the most complex structures ever built and serves as an orbiting laboratory for astronauts from all over the world, but it didn’t happen over night. Construction of the ISS started way back in 1998 when its first module entered orbit. Since then, it’s expanded quite a lot while providing researchers with extremely valuable data about life in space, which is vital if we ever plan on leaving Earth. So with a new inflatable piece just added to the structure, let’s take a look back at how the ISS got to this point.

ISS Assembly Mission 1 A/R in orbit
ISS Assembly Mission 2A in the orbit
ISS Assembly Mission 1R in the orbit
ISS Assembly Mission 3A in space
ISS Assembly Mission 4A above the Earth
ISS Assembly Mission 5A with the Earth in the background
ISS Assembly Mission 6A above the Earth
ISS Assembly Mission 7A in the space
ISS Assembly Mission 8A in space with the Earth in the background
ISS Assembly Mission 9A in the space
ISS Assembly Mission 12A in the space
ISS Assembly Mission 13A in the space
ISS Assembly Mission 10A in the space
ISS Assembly Mission ULF2 in orbit above the Earth
ISS Assembly Mission 19A in orbit