The United States (and other countries, such as Russia and Japan) have been curious about space for years. And through hard work, dedication, and research, the International Space Station is an ongoing reality. It is actually a floating lab with trained researchers studying space environment and microgravity. At any given time there are generally six researchers aboard the facility, which floats high above the earth at around 270 miles in orbit. It currently holds the record for the longest continuous presence of humans and is slated to keep going for at least another ten years, maybe longer.
The ISS could actually be a prototype for future place to live for humanity. Travel (and living) beyond the Earth’s boundaries is often a dream of many people. And the research being done at the station could possibly help make those dreams actual options some day. NASA and the Russian agency equivalent often perform experiments regarding microgravity and how it affects the human body. The station is actually a finely tuned research laboratory that perform medical tests on a regular basis.
Due to the continual success of the ISS, living off the planet is now more than just a pipe dream. After all, it is already being done and has been done for years. However, we must keep in mind that the people living in the floating lab are highly trained individuals. What they are doing now affects humanity both now and in the future, but we can’t say for sure when living off the planet in orbit will be a certain reality for the rest of us. And it takes some specialized training to get used to the “no gravity” feeling that that the researchers now move around in.
Ownership of the floating lab is a venture between numerous countries. At any given time there are researchers from Japan, USA, and Russia on board conducting their tests. They often work together and share results. Many of them are assigned or chosen to live at the floating lab for a year. They often take pictures of the weather conditions on Earth – including the massive storm that blanketed the United States recently. Overall, the ISS is a viable research facility that could help humanity evolve and live beyond planet Earth.