Accessibility links

Breaking News

International Space Station Marks 100,000th Orbit After 17 Years

International Space Station crew members Sergei Volkov and Yury Malenchenko perform a spacewalk outside in February.

The International Space Station made its 100,000th orbit around the Earth on May 16 after nearly two decades in space, space officials say.

In circling the Earth 100,000 times, the station has traveled 4.6 billion kilometers, about the distance from the Earth to Neptune, or 10 round-trip voyages to Mars, NASA said.

The first stage of the station, the Zarya module, was launched into space on November 20, 1998. In the years since, the station has grown to include 15 modules weighing more than 400 tons.

There are currently six astronauts working on board the station -- three Russians, two Americans, and one Briton. In all, 222 people have lived there or visited the station.

The station orbits at an altitude of approximately 400 kilometers above Earth. A single trip around the planet takes 1 1/2 hours.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa