Moscow — The International Space Station (ISS) celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday.
The ISS is a research facility and the successor to the Mir space station, which was in operation between 1983 and 1998 before being sunk in the Pacific Ocean in a "spacecraft cemetery" not far from Christmas Island in 2000.
The agreement to construct the ISS was signed Jan. 29, 1998, in Washington by representatives from Canada, members of the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan, Russia and the United States.
The first launch as part of the project took place Nov. 20, 1998, from Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, when a Russian Proton space carrier delivered the Zarya unit, which was the station's first component.
Construction on the basic living quarters continued through 2000, and the station became manned on Oct. 31, 2000, when Russia delivered the first ISS crew, American astronaut William Shepherd and two Russian astronauts, Yury Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev.