Mankind reached an impressive feat recently – 15 years in which humans have continuously lived aboard the International Space Station.
In commemoration of the achievement, NASA shared in a press release statements from high ranking U.S. officials who provided their insight on the historical significance of the work being conducted aboard the station.
According to Dr. John Holdren, director of White House Office of Science and Technology, the ISS has afforded American researchers the opportunity to conduct studies relating to life and physical sciences that will allow NASA to send more astronauts into space. While the continued study of environments beyond Earth’s confines is important, ISS has helped society to achieve perhaps a greater accomplishment. Various nations have worked together in harmony through the ISS in an effort to better society as a whole. Holdren said this continued partnership between various international groups “is a shining example, moreover, of what humanity can accomplish when we work together in peace.”
“I congratulate all of the men and women at NASA and around the world who have worked so hard to keep the International Space Station operational these past 15 years, Holdren added.
“Everyone involved can be proud of this incredible achievement.”
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden shared Holdren’s belief that the ISS symbolizes society’s ability to work in peacefulness on a mission that could potentially better society as a whole. “I believe the station should be considered the blueprint for peaceful global cooperation. For more than a decade and a half, it has taught us about what’s possible when tens of thousands of people across 15 countries collaborate to advance shared goals.”
Bolden said the work conducted aboard the ISS has a significant influence on NASA’s attempt to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
“For 15 years, humanity’s reach has extended beyond Earth’s atmosphere,” Bolden said. “Since 2000, human beings have been living continuously aboard the space station, where they have been working off-the-Earth for the benefit of Earth, advancing scientific knowledge, demonstrating new technologies, and making research breakthroughs that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.”
Bolden said he celebrated the 5,478-day milestone this past weekend by calling the crew that the agency presently has stationed aboard ISS. One of those astronauts is Scott Kelly, who is beyond the half-way point of a one-year mission aboard the station. Bolden said he congratulated Kelly on becoming the American record holder for both cumulative and continuous days in space.
More information on the ISS can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense