International Space Station
International Cooperation in Space
The construction of the International Space Station (ISS) began on 20 November 1998. The Zarya Module, which was American-funded but built by Russians, was launched into orbit around the earth. An international partnership of space agencies, from the US, Russia, Europe, Japan, Canada came together to assist in the construction of the ISS. The ISS has been the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken. At the moment the ISS has a permanent crew of six astronauts, who carry out research in diverse areas such as life, earth and space sciences. The International Space Station was the result of joint efforts by space agencies from sixteen different countries. The project brought together international flights crews, thereby using science as a vehicle for Cultural Diplomacy to strengthen international relations.