The European Automated Transfer Vehicle is an unpiloted cargo carrier that can deliver up to 7.5 tons of supplies to the International Space Station.
Orbital Sciences is one of two American companies delivering cargo to the space station. Its Cygnus cargo craft can deliver almost 2 tons of supplies to the crew.
SpaceX is one of two companies delivering cargo to the space station. Its Dragon cargo craft is the only vehicle that can return science samples back to Earth.
Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is an unmanned cargo spacecraft that delivers more than 6 tons of supplies to the International Space Station.
The Russian Progress spacecraft delivers almost 2.5 tons of fuel, equipment and supplies to the station.
As the European Space Agency's largest single contribution to the station, the Columbus laboratory supports scientific and technological research.
The Cupola is a panoramic control tower for the International Space Station, with windows through which operations on the outside of the station can be observed and controlled.
Destiny is the primary research laboratory for U.S. payloads, supporting a wide range of experiments that contribute to health, safety and quality of life for people all over the world.
Harmony is a node on the station that is used to connect Kibo, Columbus and Destiny. It is also the docking port for the Cygnus, Dragon and HTV cargo vehicles.
The Kibo Laboratory is Japan's first human space facility and enhances the unique research capabilities of the International Space Station. It is has an airlock and robotic arm attached to it.
Derived from the Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module, the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module is attached to the Earth-facing side of the Unity node.
Pirs is a docking port on the Russian segment of the space station for Soyuz crew vehicles and Progress cargo vehicles. It also has an airlock for Russian spacewalks.
Poisk is another docking port on the Russian segment of the space station for Soyuz and Progress vehicles. It provides spacewalk capability and extra space for science experiments.
The U.S. Quest airlock is directly across from the Tranquility node and is attached to Unity. It enables crew members to perform spacewalks in U.S. or Russian spacesuits.
Rassvet is used primarily for cargo storage, some payload operations, and it provides a docking port for Russian vehicles. It is attached to the Zarya module.
The Tranquility node was one of the last U.S. components added to the International Space Station. Some of the crew’s exercise equipment is located in it as well as some of the environmental systems.
The Unity node was the first U.S. piece of the International Space Station. It connects the Quest airlock, the Destiny laboratory, the Zarya module, the Tranquility node and the Permanent Multipurpose Module.
Zarya was the first piece of the International Space Station ever put into orbit. It was built in Russia and was designed to provide the station's initial propulsion and power.
Zvezda served as the early cornerstone for the first human habitation of the station. It serves as a docking port for Russian cargo and crew vehicles as well as the ATV cargo craft.
The space station’s robot arm, Canadarm2, was a key part of the construction of the station and continues to play a vital role in day-to-day operations.
Dextre is a space handyman with a mission: keep the International Space Station ship-shape. Dextre is mounted on the end of the station’s robot arm or can perch on the outside of the station itself.
Designed and built through a partnership between NASA and General Motors, Robonaut was conceived to take on tasks deemed too dangerous or mundane for astronauts.
Composed of multiple elements delivered by the space shuttle, the Integrated Truss Structure forms the backbone of the station.
Most of the space station's systems produce heat, which needs to be transferred from the station to space to maintain acceptable temperatures and keep the systems running.
The International Space Station's enormous solar arrays provide renewable energy to the laboratory by converting solar energy into electricity.
Check out how the International Space Station, the most complex structure ever built in space, works on a daily basis.
Take a virtual tour of the orbital outpost.
This animation depicts the assembly of the International Space Station since Nov. 20, 1998, with the delivery of the Zarya module, through May 16, 2011, with the delivery of the EXPRESS Logistics Carrier-3 and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.