International Space Station Celebrates 25th Anniversary

( – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) marked an important anniversary last week: its International Space Station (ISS) celebrated 25 years of operations.

Twenty-five years ago on December 6, 1998, the first two ISS modules, named Unity and Zarya, were linked together. The space station commemorated the occasion with a post on Twitter, noting the anniversary and that the current crew is engaged in research on “aging, mental health, and cognition” amid “ongoing cargo operations.”

To mark the special occasion, the ISS Program Manager Joel Montalbano and NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana spoke to a few crew members of Expedition 70 on Wednesday. In a call with the crew members aboard the station, Cabana said he couldn’t believe 25 years had passed since “we grappled Zarya” to join it “with the Unity node,” which he said is “absolutely amazing.”

In September, a crew of international astronauts designated as “Crew-6” left the ISS and returned home after completing their mission. Two of the crew members were NASA astronauts Woody Hoburg and Stephen Bowen. Also on the crew was Sultan Alneyadi, an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, and one from Roscosmos named Andrey Fedyaev.

Bill Nelson, a NASA Administrator, commented on the crew, their mission, and their return home in a press release, stating that NASA’s SpaceX Crew 6 spent six months on the ISS, logged almost 79 million miles, and conducted “hundreds of scientific experiments” to “benefit all of humanity.”

Nelson added that the crew hailing from three different nations have “demonstrated” a “shared ambition” among humanity “to reach new cosmic shores.” He credited the “contributions of Crew-6” with helping to “prepare NASA” to continue its missions and “improve life here on earth.”

NASA also recently announced plans to give companies more choices regarding the type of contract required for deorbit vehicle production for the ISS. The decision will permit companies to choose between different types of contracts for designing and producing US Deorbit Vehicles.

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