Boeing

Picture of the International Space Station in orbit.

International Space Station

The International Space Station’s role as a scientific laboratory and test bed for deep-space technology is crucial to humanity’s ability to improve life on Earth while pursuing opportunities in space.

Laboratory, Proving Ground, Home

The International Space Station (ISS) is a permanently crewed on-orbit laboratory that enables scientific research supporting innovation on Earth and future deep space exploration. From design to launch, 15 countries collaborated to assemble the world's only permanently crewed orbital facility, which can support up to seven astronauts and 300 to 400 experiments per crew increment, across an array of disciplines. The ISS is the cornerstone of human activity in low Earth orbit, a cooperative global effort to expand our knowledge and improve life on Earth while testing technology that will build a LEO economy and extend our reach to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Boeing officially turned over the U.S. on-orbit segment of the ISS to NASA in 2010 and continues to provide key engineering support services and continual capability enhancements, as well as processing for laboratory experiment racks. Due to its modular systems and the limited degradation of the space environment, technical assessments have shown the station could safely operate beyond 2030 if NASA and its international partners choose to do so.

Feature Stories

Students with Genes in Space present their experiment ahead of launch.

Boeing-sponsored ISS experiment shows CRISPR gene editing can be used in space

July 15, 2021 in Space

CRISPR process helps researchers better understand how cells in space and on Earth repair damage to DNA.

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Boeing's James Dickson works at his console in the Mission Evaluation Room at Mission Control.

Powerful additions: Boeing engineers to support installation of new ISS solar arrays

June 15, 2021 in Space

Boeing’s James Dickson will lead Boeing’s engineering support team as they work with NASA astronauts and flight controllers to get two advanced solar arrays installed on the International Space Station.

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Spectrolab employee’s work on the new ISS solar arrays is no fish tale

Spectrolab employee’s work on the new ISS solar arrays is no fish tale

June 10, 2021 in Space

Veronica Hoffman moved from building fish tanks to assembling solar cells for the International Space Station.

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More power: Next-generation solar arrays headed to Space Station

More power: Next-generation solar arrays headed to Space Station

June 8, 2021 in Space

1st pair of Boeing-provided arrays will be installed during 2 upcoming spacewalks

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Making space: Boeing engineers help NASA house 11 on ISS

Making space: Boeing engineers help NASA house 11 on ISS

April 30, 2021 in Space

Teams clear the way for large crew to sleep safely through careful evaluations

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Sunshine state: New ISS solar arrays arrive in Florida

Sunshine state: New ISS solar arrays arrive in Florida

April 14, 2021 in Space

Boeing and NASA begin launch preparations for small, efficient arrays that will power years of space station research.

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Astronauts use Boeing-developed tool to prep ISS for new arrays

February 9, 2021 in Space

An engineer quickly innovates a 3D-printed device to assist spacewalkers.

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Nanoracks infrastructure will increase commercial access to low Earth orbit

Open door policy

December 5, 2020 in Space

Nanoracks infrastructure will increase commercial access to low Earth orbit.

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For over 20 years, International Space Station has served as a test bed and proving ground for technologies that benefit all of humanity

Down to Earth discoveries

November 24, 2020 in Space

For over 20 years, International Space Station has served as a test bed and proving ground for technologies that benefit all of humanity.

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the future of low earth orbit

The Future of low Earth orbit

November 23, 2020 in space

John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and International Space Station program manager, outlines the company’s contributions to the station through 20 consecutive years of human habitation, and its capabilities for increasing access and opportunities in low Earth orbit.

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Space Odyssey

Space Odyssey

October 28, 2020 in Space

20 years of continuous human presence on ISS can be measured in thousands of experiments, hundreds of spacewalks, and an entire generation of life in space.

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An invisible ally against cancer

An invisible ally against cancer

September 30, 2020 in Space

International Space Station’s microgravity environment offers possible turning point for leukemia research.

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NASA astronauts complete installation of new, Boeing-built batteries on the International Space Station

Powering human spaceflight

July 20, 2020 in Space

NASA astronauts complete installation of new, Boeing-built batteries on the International Space Station.

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Starliner Crew Training Goes Virtual

Starliner Crew Training Goes Virtual

June 11, 2020 in Space, Our People

The team developing the training system for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is on a path to allow a wearable virtual-reality system to be plugged into the overall training network.

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Boeing Engineers Adapt to Support Space Station Despite Outbreak

Boeing Engineers Adapt to Support Space Station Despite Outbreak

March 27, 2020 in space

Remote-work techniques developed in recent years are being applied now to keep up Earthbound support for the crew of the International Space Station.

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Boeing-developed spacesuit material to be tested outside ISS

Boeing-developed spacesuit material to be tested outside ISS

May 3, 2019 in Space

A unique material developed by a Boeing engineer to protect spacewalkers has been launched to the International Space Station (ISS) for its most challenging test yet.

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Diversity, teamwork key to continued ISS support

Diversity, teamwork key to continued ISS support

April 8, 2019 in Space

Our International Space Station team knows how important collaboration is to provide the best ideas for the ISS. This is critical as it welcomes NASA Commercial Crew spacecraft and remain operational until 2030 and beyond.

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In the DNA

In the DNA

August 22, 2017 in Space, Technology

United Arab Emirates student’s experiment launches to the International Space Station.

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Genes in Space: 17-Year-Old Winner’s Experiment Sent to ISS

Genes in Space: 17-Year-Old Winner’s Experiment Sent to ISS

April 13, 2016 in Space

17-year-old Anna-Sophia Boguraev won the inaugural Genes in Space competition in 2015.

 

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Celebration and Reconfiguration Aboard the International Space Station

Celebration and Reconfiguration Aboard the International Space Station

November 2, 2015 in Space

A tower astronauts will use to board Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner is rising in the Florida skyline.

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The 220-Mile-High Lab

The 220-Mile-High Lab

July 2, 2015 in Innovation, Space

Rotating 220 miles (354 km) above Earth is the International Space Station, where Boeing provides a safe environment for more than 200 experiments.

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International Space Station

A Step Closer to Deep Space

January 15, 2015 in Innovation, Space

The 15-year milestone marks the halfway point for the projected 30-year International Space Station program.

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CST-100: Next American space capsule

CST-100: Next American space capsule

September 16, 2014 in Space

NASA awards Boeing $4.2 billion to build and fly the United States’ next passenger spacecraft, the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100.

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Last shuttle commander virtually flies Boeing CST-100

Last shuttle commander virtually flies Boeing CST-100

February 27, 2014 in Space, Technology

Chris Ferguson, commander of the final space shuttle flight, virtually returns to space in the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator.

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Happy Anniversary ISS

Happy Anniversary ISS

November 20, 2013 in Space

The 15-year milestone marks the halfway point for the projected 30-year International Space Station program.

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Commercial Opportunities in Low Earth Orbit

ISS is hitting its stride as an incubator and business model in the commercial space ecosystem. Among the entities benefiting from ISS access is the Boeing-founded Genes in Space, a STEM contest that challenges students to design DNA analysis experiments for the ISS National Lab (managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS). Winners’ experiments are launched to ISS to be performed by astronauts, with published results.

Genes in Space 2019 winners Finsam Samson and Yujie Wang designed an experiment to analyze the impact of microgravity on gene expression. Their work may enable medical interventions for astronauts while in space, and therapies for people with stress-related health conditions on Earth.

Boeing also partners with the ISS U.S. National Lab on the MassChallenge startup accelerator’s “Technology in Space” competition. Winning companies receive funding and the opportunity to have their research conducted on the station so they can advance them to market. Qlibrium of Boston had its patch-sized, wearable drug-delivery pump launched to ISS in 2020. The technology holds promise for improved medicine delivery on Earth and on voyages through deep space.

Expanding science and technology development in low Earth orbit means expanding access. Boeing collaborated with Nanoracks on the payload services provider’s Bishop Airlock on ISS. It will open the station to more commercial users and research.

Commercial Opportunities in Low Earth Orbit
Commercial Opportunities in Low Earth Orbit

Benefits for Deep Space Exploration

The United States’ goal of sustained human exploration of deep space relies on advanced technologies such as surface habitats.

Boeing’s deep-space surface habitat concept builds on the company’s experience from designing, building and operating the ISS for more than 20 years, including recent advances such as superefficient lithium-ion batteries and roll-out solar arrays. Boeing is working on a habitation module and an airlock module that doubles as additional living/work space.

The ISS also gives researchers a unique environment to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of long-duration spaceflight, and to test deep-space technologies, in preparation for crewed missions to the Moon and Mars.

The International Space Station has inspired sustainability efforts here on Earth. From the station's smaller, more efficient solar arrays to its global humanitarian applications, see how discoveries on orbit help us innovate for a better tomorrow

Sustainability Is Built In

Cloudy with a chance of climate change:

Sensors on the station provide important data for forecasting global changes in climate and weather. High-resolution laser ranging and satellite imagery of our planet examine the impacts of changes to forests and other ecosystems, land usage, and water quality.

Recycling our most precious resource:

There is an entire closed-loop system onboard the ISS dedicated to filtering out impurities and contaminants in water. This technology has been adapted to aid remote locations around the world that would not otherwise have access to clean drinking water.

Investigations in microgravity:

Many experiments conducted on the orbital lab have important implications for environmental sustainability on Earth. These include investigations of aeroponic farming (using mist to water crops), carbon scrubbing, sustainable cotton growth, and water and energy conservation.

Together we do more:

The ISS is one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted, serving as a model for what humanity can accomplish when diverse teams work together. Additionally, remote sensing data from the station has humanitarian applications, including disaster response and search-and-rescue missions.

Class is in session:

The ISS has become an accessible research platform through real-time connectivity to on-orbit experiments and crew activities. Through programs such as Genes in Space, Boeing is utilizing ISS to educate and inspire future generations to get involved in space exploration and STEM.

Power moves:

A suite of solar arrays — including six new Boeing-built arrays set to be installed this year —serve as the station’s primary power source, converting sunlight into energy. During periods of orbital darkness, Boeing-built energy efficient, lithium-ion batteries, which offer twice the power of their predecessor, ensure that the station is never without power.

This NASA fly-through of the International Space Station uses a fisheye lens for extreme focus and depth of field. It’s narrated by Boeing Mission Evaluation Room Manager Jennifer Hammond.

 

ISS Video Tour

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION:

A LAB LIKE NO OTHER

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International Space Station Technical Specifications

Length (pressurized section) 167 ft (51 m) Operating Altitude 220 nmi (407 km) average
Total Length 192 ft (58.5 m) Inclination 51.6 degrees to the Equator
Total Height 100 ft (30.5 m) Atmosphere Inside 14.7 psi (101.36 kilopascals)
Solar Array Wingspan 239 ft (72.8 m) Pressurized Volume 34,700 cu ft (habitable volume of
14,400 cu ft)
Integrated Truss Length 357 ft (109 m) Computers to Control Station 52
Mass (Weight) 919,964 lbs Power Generation 120 kw (current) - 215 kw (with new solar arrays installed)
Current Position Spot the Station

The Nations of the International Space Station

NASA selected Boeing as prime contractor for the International Space Station on Aug. 17, 1993, and the original cost-plus-award-fee contract began on Jan. 13, 1995. Boeing is responsible for maintaining the station at peak performance levels so the full value of the unique research laboratory is available to NASA, its international partners, other U.S. government agencies and private companies.

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