For 16 years, astronauts have been working and living on the ISS, a structure made up of 15 connected modules that floats 250 miles above Earth. The ISS acts as a base for space exploration—possible future missions to the Moon,
Mars and asteroids—and gives us a unique perspective on Earth itself. We can collect data on the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land surface. We can conduct experiments and studies that we wouldn’t be able to do from Earth,
like monitoring how the human body reacts
to microgravity, solving mysteries of the immune system
, studying cyclones
in order to alert populations and governments when a storm is approaching, or monitoring marine litter
—the rapidly increasing amount of waste found in our oceans.