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Monday, November 16, 1998 Published at 13:37 GMT

ISS timeline

The US Space Shuttle will play a key role in construction

1984 - US President Ronald Reagan says he wants to build a permanently manned all-American space station. This 'Space Station Freedom' is supposed to be in orbit by 1994.

1994 - President Bill Clinton relaunches the project following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Block. He renames it "International Space Station Alpha" and says it should be a symbol of post-Cold War co-operation.

December, 1997 - Scheduled launch of Russian-built core module (FGB) postponed.

20 November, 1998 - Core module (Zarya) launched on a Proton rocket from Kazakhstan.

7 December, 1998 - Space Shuttle delivers Unity docking module to orbiting Zarya

Summer, 1999 - Launch of Russian service module.

Late 1999/early 2000 - First crew to arrive at ISS. Nasa astronaut Bill Shepherd is the commander.

August 2001 Delivery of parts for Japanese Experimental Module begins on Space Shuttle.

October 2002 - Launch of European Space Agency's Columbus Orbital Facility.

December 2003 - ISS becomes fully operational.

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In this section

Shuttle makes night landing

Shuttle launches 'disco ball'

Shuttle astronauts head home

Space station astronauts unpack bags

Space station repairs begin

Shuttle docks at space station

Perfect launch for Discovery

Hearing lost in space

New test for space 'lifeboat'

Astronauts cross new threshold

Space station comes alive

Unity and Zarya are one