Space Station

A space station, also known as an orbital station or an orbital space station, is a spacecraft capable of supporting a human crew in orbit for an extended period of time that lacks major propulsion or landing systems. Stations must have docking ports to allow other spacecraft to dock to transfer crew and supplies.

The purpose of maintaining an orbital outpost varies depending on the program. Space stations have most often been launched for scientific purposes, but military launches have also occurred


It is a modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. The ISS program is a multi-national collaborative project between five participating space agencies [ NASA (United States America), ROSCOSMOS (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), & CSA (Canada).

The ownership and use of the space station are established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. It involved the Space Station Freedom proposal.


Salyut space stations 1971–1986 ( Soviet Union) :

  1. Salyut 1: 1971, 1 crew and 1 failed crew docking
  2. DOS-2: 1972, launch failure
  3. Salyut 2/Almaz: 1973, failed shortly after launch
  4. Kosmos 557: 1973, failed to achieve orbit, re-entered eleven days after launch
  5. Salyut 3/Almaz: 1974, 1 crew and 1 failed crew docking
  6. Salyut 4: 1975, 2 crews and 1 planned crew
  7. Salyut 5/Almaz: 1976–1977, 2 crews and 1 failed crew docking
  8. Salyut 6: 1977–1981, 16 crews (5 long duration, 11 short duration) and 1 failed crew docking
  9. Salyut 7: 1982–1986, 10 crews (6 long duration, 4 short duration) and 1 failed crew docking
  10. Skylab ( U.S.): 1973–1979, 3 crews
  11. Mir ( Soviet Union/ Russia): 1986–2000, 28 long-duration crews
  12. International Space Station (ISS) ( Russia, United States, EUR, Japan and Canada): 2000–ongoing, 63 Expedition crews (as of June 2020)

Tiangong program ( China): 2011–ongoing

  • Tiangong-1: 2011–2018, 2 crews
  • Tiangong-2: 2016–2019, 1 crew, 1 uncrewed resupply vessel