International Space Station to mark 20 years of humans living aboard the orbiting lab

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NASA astronaut Christina Koch unloads new hardware for the Cold Atom Lab aboard the International Space Station the
week of Dec. 9, 2019. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

HOUSTON (NewsNation Now) — For almost 20 years, all of humanity hasn’t lived together on the same planet.

Monday, Nov. 2, will mark the 20th anniversary of having a continuous human presence aboard its orbiting laboratory, according to NASA.

More than 240 people from 19 countries have visited the International Space Station. The unique microgravity lab has also hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from people in 108 countries.

Many scientists have called the space station home in a global effort to test technologies, conduct research and develop the skills needed to explore beyond Earth, NASA said.

Three astronauts, William Shepherd of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, entered the ISS on Nov. 2, 2000, beginning permanent human occupancy of the station.

The trio launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 31, 2000.

Expedition 64 crew members (from left) NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov pose for a crew portrait during crew training at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

On Friday, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will hold a news conference to discuss the upcoming anniversary, as well as their mission on the space station.

NASA said the launch anniversary also coincides with a rare blue Moon, which could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for some. The last time it occurred was in 1944, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The next one isn’t expected to happen until 2039, NASA said.

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