How big the ISS is
The largest spacecraft ever built, the ISS is also the world’s most expensive single object, costing upwards of 100 billion dollars, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The dimensions of the completed International Space Station research facility will be approximately 356 feet (109 meters) by 240 feet (73 meters), or slightly larger than a football field. When completed, the International Space Station will weigh around 450 tons (408,000 kg), or 450 times the weight of an average car.
The International Space Station is so large that it is visible to the naked eye from the ground. It may be easiest to see after the sun has set, but its fading rays are still able to reach the space station’s reflective surface. It circles the Earth every 90 minutes, traveling at 4.8 miles (7.7 km) per second, flying in one of the lowest orbits possible at approximately 242 miles (390 km) above Earth.
Construction of the space station began in 1998 and the ISS was expected to be finished by 2003, but delays and cancellations caused the completion date to be pushed to late 2011.