BBC Sky at Night

20 YEARS OF THE ISS

With each sunrise we awake and go about our daily lives with little thought that 400km above Earth, a group of humans are living in an orbiting laboratory. Travelling at 27,600km per hour, they see 16 sunrises a day and make one orbit around our planet in just 90 minutes. There are generations growing up today who have only known a time when the human race lived both on and off planet Earth.

For the past 20 years there has been a continuous human presence in space on the International Space Station (ISS). It began two decades ago this month when, on 2 November 2000, the crew of Expedition-1 - US astronaut William ‘Bill’ Shepherd, and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko - docked their Soyuz spacecraft with the ISS, climbed through the hatch

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Need To Know
Universal Time (UT) is the standard time used by astronomers around the world. British Summer Time (BST) is one hour ahead of UT These coordinates are the night sky’s equivalent of longitude and latitude, describing where an object is on the celestia