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NASA photography

NASA Photography

In 1995 Russian-American interaction resumed with the Shuttle-Mir missions (1995–1998). Once more an American vehicle docked with a Russian craft, this time a full-fledged space station. This cooperation has continued to 2011, with Russia and the United States the two biggest partners in the largest space station ever built: the International Space Station (ISS). The strength of their cooperation on this project was even more evident when NASA began relying on Russian launch vehicles to service the ISS during the two-year grounding of the shuttle fleet following the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
The shuttle fleet lost two orbiters and 14 astronauts in two disasters: Challenger in 1986, and Columbia in 2003. While the 1986 loss was mitigated by building the Space Shuttle Endeavour from replacement parts, NASA did not build another orbiter to replace the second loss. NASA's Space Shuttle program had 135 missions when the program ended with the successful landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011. The program spanned 30 years with over 300 astronauts sent into space.
- International Space Station (1998–)
The ISS combines the Japanese Kibō laboratory with three space station projects, the Soviet/Russian Mir-2, the American Freedom, and the European Columbus. Budget constraints led to the merger of these projects into a single multi-national program in the 1990s. The station consists of pressurized modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components, which have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and US Space Shuttles. It is currently being assembled in Low Earth Orbit. The construction began in 1998 and construction of the US Orbital Segment was completed in 2011; operations are expected to continue until at least 2020. The station can be seen from the Earth with the naked eye and, as of 2011, is the largest artificial satellite in Earth orbit with a mass and volume larger than that of any previous space station.

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Filename:594641.jpg
Album name:Earth & Universe
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Keywords:#nasa #photography
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Date added:Nov 18, 2013
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