Credit: NASA


Over a span of 20 years, the vision of an international orbiting outpost—one with continuous human presence, measuring the size of a football field, and orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes—became a reality.

The International Space Station (ISS) has been labeled an engineering miracle – a facility that also expresses vision, leadership, perseverance, political support, and funding.

The ISS enables world-class scientific research, forges pathfinders for future exploration travel, and unites 15 international partners working together with common goals to keep the ISS viable.

The ISS is part of NASA’s ongoing, deliberate, step-by-step approach for expanding the boundaries associated with human spaceflight exploration that will return humans to the Moon and eventually to inhabiting Mars.

A new NASA book – available for free as an e-book – is titled: The International Space Station: Operating an Outpost in the New Frontier. Robert Dempsey is the Executive Editor of this informative book.

International Space Station.
Credit: NASA

Real time, continuous

In the book’s preface, Dempsey explains: “This is an unusual book. Half the chapters are devoted to operations, meaning what we do in real time during a mission. For the International Space Station, real time is continuous 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. These chapters will describe different operational aspects of “flight control.” However to get the full context, the remaining chapters will provide technical descriptions of the primary space station systems. Although not strictly required to understand the operations, they are intended to provide more information for proper context.

Chapters include: Living and Working in Space and on the Ground; Debris Avoidance—Navigating the Occasionally Unfriendly Skies of Low-Earth Orbit; When Major Anomalies Occur; as well as Vital Visiting Vehicles—Keeping the Remote Outpost Crewed and Operating.

The 400-page book brings together the collective knowledge of the 10 space station flight directors who authored it, drawing on their combined 45,000 hours of experience at the helm of mission control. In addition to Dempsey, they are Dina Contella, David Korth, Michael Lammers, Courtenay McMillan, Emily Nelson, Royce Renfrew, Brian Smith, Scott Stover and Ed Van Cise.

This new NASA e-book is available at:

Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event