|International Space Station - |
The Prototype and the Model
From early in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan challenged the world to build an international space station, it was inevitable that the project would be completed. After fourteen years and many twists and turns in the path, the first element of ISS will be launched from Russia within the next few months. More than forty launches and nearly five years later, the 950,000 pound station will be complete. The partners in this gigantic effort include the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and more than a dozen countries making up the European Space Agency. Never have so many countries cooperated in a joint effort is sure to have a monumental effect on all of humanity over the next several decades. In the micro gravity environment of the station many unique types of experimentation can take place that are not possible elsewhere, and a "jumping off place" for future space travel will be provided. The long term scientific benefits of this project to the human race will surely exceed our greatest expectations. The International Space Station will travel in an orbit varying from 160 miles to 260 miles above the earth. At a speed of 17,500 miles per hour, each orbit will require only about one and one half hours to complete. During each orbit it will be visible from nearly eighty five percent of the earth's surface. A crew of three will occupy the space station after the third flight, expanding to a total crew of seven late in the construction phase. The crew members will come from several countries, with the makeup of the crew being decided by mutual agreement of the partners.
A project of the scope and character (of the International Space Station) requires that models be available as educational tools for all aspects of the planning, development, and utilization of the prototype. With this in mind and responding to the growing demand, Johnson Engineering of Houston, Texas and InterMountain Railway Company of Longmont, Colorado have cooperated in the development of a 1:144 scale model of ISS. The dimensions of the completed model are 30x22x20". It is injection molded in styrene plastic, and will be mass produced in several versions to meet the varying needs for such a model.
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