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The International Space Station

by Firelight

Looking out of a plane window, the Earth can look amazing, but if you look from farther, beyond the atmosphere, it can be extraordinary. The International Space Station, or ISS, is a lab like no other. It hovers above the Earth, in space, orbiting around our planet sixteen times per day. For the people floating weightless inside, they see sixteen sunrises and sunsets, not to mention being able to peer down on the Earth. The ISS is a place with an interesting beginning, great accomplishments, and a very different routine than ours on Earth.

The International Space Station began and was built in a long series of events. The idea began on the twenty-fifth of January,1984, also known as President Ronald Reagan's State of the Union address. He dictated to the NASA workers to begin building a space station in Earth's orbit within the next ten years. NASA got to work right away, but it wasn't until November 20,1998 that the first piece was sent into space. The first piece was a Russian proton called Zarya and marked the material beginning of the space station. The International Space Station was no longer just an idea and some plans, it was a physical. Another important step, one that many consider to be the completion of the Space Station, is the first crew being sent. November 2,2000, Bill Shepard, Yuri Gidzenko, and Sergei Kirkalev became the first humans to reside on the space station. Even though this can be thought of as the end of the beginning of the ISS, it is still be improved and added to, all these years later.

Since the beginning of the International Space Station, many important milestones and goals have been made and met. NASA has many goals they wish to accomplish with the use of the space station and its crew. Obviously, they want to learn as much about space as possible. Mainly, they focus on human health and exploration, technology testing for future exploration, basic life and physical sciences in space, and Earth and space sciences. Although they have these long-term goals set, they have made many accomplishments. One that really stands out is the day the International Space Station became a legal laboratory. In the 2000s (exact date unknown), the ISS was recognized as a national laboratory, the first in space. Another milestone for workers at NASA and the ISS was the tenth anniversary of human occupation in 2010. Two hundred and two people had circulated throughout the ISS nonstop since the first crew in 2000. This was important because it marked ten years of success and studies in space.

Each day, more and more goals and milestones are being reached. Today, the workers of the International Space Station, from all different countries, work together and relax together. All the astronauts, despite being from different places around the world, do many similar tasks. The astronauts conduct experiments, clean and repair equipment and sometimes do space walks outside the station. Also, they must exercise for two hours each day. This takes up most of their day on the ISS, but they have fun when they can. Even though they are in space, they still do many of the same activities we do on Earth, with some bonuses. Astronauts read books, watch television and movies, message their family and friends on Earth, listen to music, play on their laptops, among other hobbies. Another fun thing they do is float around, playing space games and doing the classic drink-water-as-it-floats-around trick. These tasks are done by, but not limited to: Terry Virts, of the United States, Butch Wilmore, of the United States, and Samantha Cristoforetti, of Italy right now. These three people are some of the people on the International Space Station right now. They keep in touch with the humans of Earth via text, Twitter, Instagram, FaceTime, and Facebook.

The Earth is an amazing place to look at and study, especially if you are doing it as an outsider to your own home planet. The ISS is a great place to learn and study the Earth, and it's a great place to learn about and study from Earth. Us who are still tethered by gravity can learn about the past, beginning and building of the ISS. We can revel in the milestones and important events of the ISS, and daydream about their goals. We can fantasize about the daily routine, activities and work, of the astronauts. The International Space Station is a place everyone should all be proud we are a part of, whether it's the creation, milestones, goals, or the witnessing and documentation of the daily activities of the first lab in space.

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163 Reviews

Points: 5016
Reviews: 163

Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:14 am
Mysticalxx says...

Wow, this was very good and actually interesting, not at all boring like I was somewhat expecting it to be. There are a few mistakes, which I think are typos and I'm sure you fix them. Otherwise, it's very good! The beginning is eye catching, especially.

Keep it up!


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212 Reviews

Points: 13620
Reviews: 212

Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:44 pm
birk wrote a review...

Hey Firelight!

Alright, I'm here to check out your essay.

Due to just general interest in science and history, I've actually done a lot of reading on the International Space Station, and NASA in general. So your title pretty much got my interest peaking.

So, for an essay. I'd say this is okay. It does have a few things I'll bring up though.

They are, namely:

Your title. It's what brings the readers in, and for whatever essay you are writing, there should be a good, interesting title. In this case, your title seem pretty straightforward. For what you wrote for you essay itself, it's fine. Basically, because your essay doesn't really go into any depth at all. Your title is 'The International Space Station', and the only thing you convey to the reader is what 'ISS' is.

You have some snippets of history littered throughout it, but it's not much. You don't go much into depth. To that end, I'd say your title is good. As a reader, I would be a lot more interested in finding out more about the history of the International Space Station, as questions of what the ISS does, seems kind of obvious.

If you'd gone more into detail about the history of it all, I'd have loved it. Title it something akin to 'Timeline or History of The International Space Station', and expand your paragraphs to include a lot more information. Since there's a lot of history to go through; condense your information and include only the essentials and important events/dates.

You open your essay very loosely, which I liked.

Looking out of a plane window, the Earth can look amazing, but if you look from farther, beyond the atmosphere, it can be extraordinary.

Yeah, this right here. This was good. Good opening which has my attention.

However, after this opening, your writing gets very stunted. It gets very informative, and it sounds like you're just reading off facts.

The idea began on the twenty-fifth of January,1984,

Alright, I do like it whenever dates and numbers are written out, rather than just put down as numbers. Especially in essays, I think it looks better. However, whatever you choose to use, whether it's writing the numbers like you did here, or just putting the number down itself, you have to pick one of them and stick to it.

it wasn't until November 20,1998

In this following date, you just put down the number, instead of actually writing it out. In contrast to what you did in the previous one. Pick one, and remember to stick to it.

And again:
November 2,2000,

This one I'd actually really want to edit, as these numbers doesn't look good like this next to each other.

In the 2000s (exact date unknown), the ISS was recognized as a national laboratory, the first in space.
This is actually an instance where I thought you lacked proper research. The International Space Station was authorized as a national laboratory and research facility on December 30th, 2005. It's known as the 'National
Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005', and it can be found on Wikipedia through pdf links. Very easy.

and Samantha Cristoforetti, of Italy right now. These three people are some of the people on the International Space Station right now.
Removed this part due to redundancy. And the way you wrote this, you made it seem like she is from Italy....right now. Like it's bound to change at some point. Just remove it, and it won't repeat itself like it does now.

Then we have your ending paragraph. I'm not such a fan. It's okay, it has some good parts in it. But reading through it, it feels as if I'm reading some sort of advertisement for the ISS. You even mention how we could do research on the past, beginning and building of the ISS, when, to be honest, it's what I might expect to learn about in an essay concerning The International Space Station.

And lastly, there is a large block of no text at the end. It looks terrible and I don't like it. I'll chalk it up to a site error.

Alright, this was an okay essay to read. It's nice, easy to read, and it's informative to an extent. I don't really know what exactly it was about the ISS you were tasked to write about, or what your promt was, but what you end up with is okay.

Your writing itself is good. There's little to no grammatical errors, and you structure your senteces and paragraphs well. This can get even better thought! ;)

Keep it up, Fire!


Firelight says...

Thanks a lot! This was really helpful!

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30 Reviews

Points: 839
Reviews: 30

Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:34 am
Nikki399 wrote a review...

Hey Firelight :-) Happy review day ;-)

Like Barbilo, this is my first time reading anything on the ISS, and I found it very ineresting. It spoke tothe part of me that has always, secretly, wanted to go to space. I thought it was very well written. I don't think I found any mistakes, except for "November 2,2000". There should of been a space ( ;-) ) between '2,' and '2000', but other then that it was awesome. Great job.


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31 Reviews

Points: 1439
Reviews: 31

Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:22 am
Barbilo wrote a review...

Hi Firelight, this is the first piece I have ever read about ISS so well done for writing it. It is a great piece, informative and easy to follow.

My review:

- Title. The title is too vague. Of course, we are reading about the ISS but what about it are we reading. For example, a title like 'Life in the International Space Station' or 'History of the International Space Station' or ' NASA and the International Space Station,' will let the reader know what they are going to read about.

- Make your sentences shorter. This makes the story easier to follow. A simple rule to follow is avoid having more than 2 comma's in a sentence unless you are listing stuff.

- Never spell out dates, it's confusing. e.g "The idea began on the twenty-fifth of January,1984," Just write it out "25th January 1984" or spell it out completely if you are unsure which format to use.

- Paragraphs. Your paragraphs are decent but I realized you have more than one idea in most paragraphs. No matter how short it makes the paragraph, only list one idea in it.

- The opening sentence sounds unsure, as a writer you have to be sure about what you are saying and because it is your written piece, you are allowed to voice your opinion. I mean the sentence where you write " Looking out of a plane window, the Earth can look amazing, but if you look from farther, beyond the atmosphere, it can be extraordinary. "

You can write it as: "Looking out of a plane window, the Earth looks amazing. If you look even farther, beyond the atmosphere, it is extraordinary."

Hope this review helps, loved your topic and learnt a lot from it so well done.

Firelight says...

Thanks for the review! It helped a lot!

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
— Jules de Gaultier