Artist's impresion of Space Shuttle visiting a Space Station, 1981.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The Space Station Freedom, with a permanently manned presence in Earth orbit, was intended to be America's major space programme in the 1990s. The Freedom Space Station concept eventually became the International Space Station (Is), an international venture with the United States, Rusia, Europe, Japan and Canada all providing parts. Construction of the Is began in 1998 and the first crew arrived in 2000.