Since it first launched back in 1998, the International Space Station has served as a symbol of friendship and cooperation between nations. In its early days the ISS was little more than a crew cabin with some rudimentary flight controls and enough life support to facilitate brief stays. But over the years new modules have been added, along with a very large array of solar panels that help keep the station powered. Today it has evolved into a research station like no other, housing up to six crew members for weeks at a time.
Recently astronaut Sunita Williams served as commander for the space station and before her return to Earth, she shot this excellent video that makes for a great tour of the orbiting laboratory. Throughout the 25-minute film Williams provides running commentary as she drifts through each of the modules, giving us a glimpse of a place that many of us have dreamed of visiting for ourselves.
This is probably as close as most of us will ever come to setting foot on the ISS.
[Photo credit: NASA]