Everyone, at some point in their life, ponders what it would be like to explore the vast world of outer space. For many of us, it’s just not a possibility. For others, it’s a chance to explore a new world on the behalf of mankind in hopes of launching our species to other worldly destinations and possibilities for human growth. Having said that, our next topic for WWYLK (What Would You Like to Know?) has been voted to be the International Space Station (ISS).
A large reason behind ISS is to, “enable long-term exploration of space and provide benefits to people on Earth.” This includes research on the physical and mental affects during lengthened trips in space. Some side effects to prolonged exposure to space conditions include loss of bone density, as well as, redistribution of bodily fluids and increased exposure to radiation coming from energy particles and sources outside the solar system. The ISS will also help to answer questions in regards to growing food and livestock in outer space, things necessary to an eventual trip to mars. 
Boeing is the prime contractor of the ISS and spans the length of one football field. Boeing’s site tells us that, “Boeing built all of the major U.S. elements. In addition, Boeing oversees thousands of subcontractors around the globe and works with 16 international partners on the project.” Building began in 1998 and was built piece by piece over several years. It consists of five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gym and a 360 degree bay window for viewing. The space station currently weighs 861,804 lbs and has been visited by more than 204 people to date.
The space station also plays a critical role in tracking and monitoring the effects of air pollution and climate change on earth. In the planning stages for years, construction of the International Space Station began with the launch of the U.S.-owned, Russian-built Zarya control module on November 20, 1998, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan.  Special docking parts allow for the ISS to be visited by a wide variety of space shuttles. Completion on the ISS is expected towards the end of the decade. When complete, a six man crew will be able to live in a space the size of a five bedroom house.