The most ambitious project since the Apollo missions to land a man on the moon, the International Space Station (ISS) is the next step in human exploration of the solar system. It is a joint venture between 16 nations, and the largest scientific cooperative programme in history. All power for the space station is generated by large arrays of solar panels connected to the main structure of the station. Also, attached to this framework are corrugated panels, which act as radiators, dispersing the excess heat from the station into space. Astronauts will live and work in the cylindrical modules between the solar panel arrays and will eventually be able to spend many years at a time in space.
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The earth is nearest to the sun on about the second or third day in …