It's hard to do anything 100,000 times, but the International Space Station celebrated 100,000 orbits around the planet Monday. Expedition 47 flight engineer Jeff Williams took time out from his duties to look ahead to the occasion in a short video. The first ISS module launched in 1998 on a Russian rocket, with more pieces added over time. The station has since hosted over 220 astronauts from 18 countries, making it a truly international effort.
The space station wastes no time in getting around Earth. It takes just 90 minutes to lap the planet. During its travels, the station has hosted everything from space-blooming flowers to Star Trek tributes to a gorilla suit. An astronaut ran a marathon. And, of course, a lot of science is taking place.
Williams' video recounts a quick history of our space stations, including Skylab, which launched in 1973 and came back down in pieces in 1979. Perhaps the most important part of Williams' message comes last: "The journey continues," he says. As of now, the ISS is scheduled to run through at least 2024. It will be interesting to see if it goes beyond that date and eventually reaches 200,000 orbits.