The international Space Station (ISS for short) begins to be built in 1998. Although it has now been 14 years since the start of its construction it has no definite date of completion as new technologies allow more devices to their development.
The scheme of structure a space station was conceived in the early 80's when America learned about building a similar platform by the then Soviet Union. It was not until the mid 90's the United States finally achieved a coherent technically and economically, it required the cooperation of other countries each of which contribute to the best of the technology that had, was well as reached agreements with 15 countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Presently the station is operational phase but 100% of its infrastructure built, it is planned that by the end of 2010 the station will have 100% of its infrastructure in orbit. The final design includes U.S. research laboratories, European research and collaboration among all countries in areas ranging from studies on the crystallization of proteins, through the effects of air pollution and water, the environmental performance of the Earth and life on minimum gravities.
within current years the station has caused some controversy due mainly to the start of the so-called "space tourism" so much so that there is currently a project under study that you plan to enable a "hotel" in the space for tourists to pay a tour (provided that the minimum price would be about 10 million U.S. dollars).
By 2010 the International Space Station will have the following characteristics:
Width: 108 meters
Length: 80 meters
Mass: 454 000 kg
Crew Size: 7 or more