International Space Station
December 12, 2000
The International Space Station received a set of solar panels last week, delivered by shuttle Endeavour and her crew as shown in this computer rendering. Orbiting at an altitude of 235 miles and at a speed of 17,000 mph, travelers to the station have a spectacular view of our planet as they circle the globe every 90 minutes. The International Space Station will offer vantage points and unique capabilities from which research in Earth System Science can be conducted. With an orbital track covering over 75 percent of Earth's surface, containing 95 percent of civilization, this long duration "window on the world" will enhance the ability to assess global trends in atmospheric quality, weather, climate change, vegetation and land use, mineral and food resources, and the health of fresh water and oceans — factors affecting the quality of life for all humans.