ISS…what would these initials have meant if you hadn’t seen the picture next to this article? We are going to expand your interpretation of those initials to include one humanity’s greatest achievements!

While global affairs might make you cringe at the acronym ISS at first glance, stay with us: what we’re actually referring to is humanity’s most complex achievement. It stands in absolute intellectual contrast to the other common mix of those initials (ISIS).

The ISS is the most incredible feat of human engineering, ingenuity, and the globe’s ability to come together as the best example of human potential.

Today we will explore the wonders of the incredible International Space Station, or ISS.

Before we continue, I just want to savor the wonder of the following photograph for a moment, depicting NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson as she sits inside the Cupola Module of the International Space Station and simply observes the magical sight of our Earth from orbit. Please – really look at this photo for 30 seconds or so to fully absorb the awe…

Image: International Space Station astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson

Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson – one of only 196 people to have visited the International Space Station – orbits Earth from the ISS’s Cupola Module!
Source: NASA

Does astronaut Dyson’s photo speak to you from many angles?

To me it speaks of triumph, both of humankind and feminism. It shouts of scientific insight and the attempt to learn more and more, until we’ve slipped the bonds of our Earth. And of course, the wonder of the sight – while impossible to grasp as well as Dyson had in this photo – isn’t lost on the EWC staff or myself either!

I digress, the International Space Station is arguably the most complex and successful technical achievement in human history, but how come when we mention it or “the ISS” more of us don’t know more about it?

Take a look at this first short piece to get us all up to speed on our own best future…

Many of us can recite the words to the last pop hit song by Beyoncé or prattle on for a half an hour about what we saw in past episodes of Parks and Rec, and so many people know far too much about and have such strong opinions on organizations with the initials ISIS and NSA…but why not ISS and NASA?!

If I use the initials ISS in a sentence, how many would even know what that stands for?

Even Dr. Chuck, our co-founder who is incredibly well read and knows a little about a lot, knew next to nothing about the ISS.

Now before researching this piece, I have to be honest that I had no idea how truly “international” the ISS was. Take a look at this graphic from :

Image: The International nature of the ISS

Wondering how “international” the ISS is? This image shows the various contributions from many of the countries involved, painting a wonderful picture of international collaboration.
Source: NASM

Then there’s that fact of the “Home Away From Home” nature of the structure. Real people are living all the fundamental elements of daily life up there! Here’s another graphic that make sense of that for me:

Image: Inside the ISS

A photo of the insides of the International Space Station gives you a little glimpse into the home of less than 200 ISS residents’ work areas and living quarters.
Source: NASA

 More about the International Space Station

To finish today’s journey into the depths and wonder of space, let’s take a look at an incredible time-lapse video produced by a French video editor, Guillame Juin, who said he used about 4,000 images from NASA’s International Space Station collection as it orbited Earth to make this jaw-dropping piece of history. The pictures were taken by space station crew members between 2011 and 2014, and all are courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Take a look and be ready to be amazed!

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “7 Mind-Blowing Facts About The International Space Station.” YouTube. TheVendor101, 16 Mar. 2014. Web. 1 Feb. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UGjZahSG-w>.
  2. The Guardian, “Thousands of International Space Station images used to create stunning timelapse film.” theguardian.com, December 10, 2014.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.