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NASA commemorates 25th anniversary of International Space Station: ‘Absolutely amazing’

NASA on Wednesday celebrated 25 years of the International Space Station’s (ISS) operations.

The first two modules of the ISS, named Zayra and Unity, were joined together 25 years ago on Dec. 6, 1998. NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and ISS Program Manager Joel Montalbano spoke to the seven members of the Expedition 70 crew aboard the station Wednesday to mark the occasion.

“I cannot believe it was 25 years ago today that we grappled Zarya and joined it with the Unity node. Absolutely amazing,” Cabana said in the call with ISS crew members.

The space station itself commemorated the occasion on its account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“The station celebrates 25 years of operations today as the Exp 70 crew conducted aging, mental health, and cognition research while continuing ongoing cargo operations,” the station said in a Wednesday post.

Back in September, an international crew of astronauts known as “Crew-6” returned home after a mission to the ISS. The crew featured two NASA astronauts, Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

“After spending six months aboard the International Space Station, logging nearly 79 million miles during their mission, and completing hundreds of scientific experiments for the benefit of all humanity, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 has returned home to planet Earth,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a release.

The three-nation crew “demonstrated humanity’s shared ambition to reach new cosmic shores. The contributions of Crew-6 will help prepare NASA to return to the Moon under Artemis, continue onward to Mars, and improve life here on Earth,” Nelson continued.

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