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The International Space Station Has Modeled Cooperation And Innovation For The Last 20 Years

1280px-International_Space_Station_after_undocking_of_STS-132.jpg
NASA
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This photo was taken on a mission in 2010 to resupply the ISS with batteries and provide materials for an addition to the station.

The primary pieces of the International Space Station (ISS) were delivered over 42 assembly flights more than 20 years ago. Independent elements were constructed around the globe and assembled for the first time in space, starting the groundwork of nearly continuous human presence in space. 

The ISS has grown into an impressive research complex that continues to model not just international cooperation, but research that can help solve problems in space and on Earth.

“The International Space Station had to solve a very fundamental problem, and that is how are you going to have water,” says Lake Effect astronomy contributor Jean Creighton. “The technology has been used in places on Earth where clean water is very hard to come by.”

The fact that the ISS is international and not owned by any nation is a big part of the cooperation.

“The idea that we can set aside whatever differences we might have to solve problems and figure out how to solve problems not only for better living in space but also better on Earth, I think that is a wonderful message,” says Creighton.

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Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.
Dr. Jean Creighton has always been inspired by how the cosmos works. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Athens, Greece where her mother claims she showed a great interest in how stars form from the age of five. She studied physics at the University of Athens and went on to earn a Master’s degree from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Waterloo. She began teaching astronomy at UW-Milwaukee in 1999 and in 2007, she took over as director of UWM's Manfred Olson Planetarium.