For space enthusiasts, November 20, 1998, stands out as a special date. It was on this day the first component of the International Space Station (ISS), the "Zarya" cargo module, was launched into orbit by a Russian Proton rocket. After decades during which space exploration was viewed as a competition among nations, this step launched a new era of cooperation, where the fruits of space research would be shared by all mankind. On January 8, 2014, NASA announced the ISS's planned life would be extended by four years, to 2024. Shortly after "Zarya" launched, the first U.S. component of the ISS was sent into space. The NASA shuttle "Endeavour" propelled the "Unity" module to join up with the Russian segment and give the station an authentically international component.