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Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this book summarizes the scientific, technological and educational accomplishments of research on the space station that have had and will continue to have an impact to life on Earth. All serve as examples of the space station's potential as a groundbreaking research facility. Through advancing the state of scientific knowledge of our planet, looking after our health, developing advanced technologies and providing a space platform that inspires and educates the science and technology leaders of tomorrow, these benefits will drive the legacy of the space station as its research strengthens economies and enhances the quality of life here on Earth for all people.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique scientific platform that enables researchers from all over the world to put their talents to work on innovative experiments that could not be done anywhere else. Although each space station partner has distinct agency goals for station research, each partner shares a unified goal to extend the resulting knowledge for the betterment of humanity. We may not know yet what will be the most important discovery gained from the space station, but we already have some amazing breakthroughs.
In the areas of human health, innovative technology, education and observations of Earth from space, there are already demonstrated benefits to people back on Earth. Lives have been saved, station-generated images assist with disaster relief, new materials improve products, and education programs inspire future scientists, engineers and space explorers. Some benefits in this updated second edition have expanded in scope. In other cases, new benefits have developed.
Since the publication of the first edition, a new constituency has developed, one that is using the ISS in a totally different fashion—to develop a commercial market in low-Earth orbit. From pharmaceutical companies conducting commercially-funded research on ISS, to private firms offering unique research capabilities and other services, to commercial cargo and crew, the ISS is proving itself to be just as adaptable to new business relationships as it has been for a broad diversity in research disciplines.