ISS International Space station

Why is it Important for Government and Society to Continue to Fund the International Space Station?

When it comes to allocating funds for the operation of the International Space Station, what cannot be overlooked and must be considered are the valuable benefits that the station, the only one of its kind, brings to the world. Numerous experiments are conducted on the International Space Station for the purpose of expanding our knowledge to improve the quality of life for all living on earth. The creation of ISS is a major milestone in our human civilization as we have successfully established a permanent residence that is not situated on a piece of land. Over the course of nearly 2 decades, the International Space Station has allowed us to benefit in economic development, human health, education, earth observation, disaster response capability and technological innovations.

Technology and Innovation

  • Water purification systems tested on the ISS have been employed in areas around the world where people lack access to clean drinking water.
A girl gets water at a hydration station.
  • All the watches and clocks on earth can be synchronized in the future by receiving signals transmitted by an antenna on the ISS
  • The knowledge obtained through the observation of flame behavior during combustion on the ISS can lead to advances and improvements in car engine designs that reduces pollution and increases range.


  • From 2000 to 2012 , 42 million students along with 2.8 million teachers were involved in educational activities about the space station, they were from 25000 schools in 44 countries.
  • Thousands of students from all over the world have been inspired to come up with micro-gravity research ideas, a number of these ideas have actually been flown to the ISS to be conducted.
Dorothy Chen presents the research findings of her experiment idea that has been conducted on the ISS.
  • The ISS has inspired future scientists and engineers from around the world. This helps to engage students in their learning and pave ways for their future career.
A student talks to an ISS crew member.

Earth Observation and Disaster Reponse

  • The ISS monitors the earth in various lighting conditions and observes for changes on the ground such as a volcanic eruption or a wild fire. Crew members aboard the station can react to these changes in real time.
This image taken by the ISS shows flooding in Cambodia.
  • The ISS monitors coastal zones around the world as they are important for economic development which a lot of cities are dependent on. Shorelines need to be protected to sustain the aquatic ecosystem which continues the fishery industry. Lakes are also monitored as they are the main, and sometimes the only, source of water for millions of people. Sophisticated cameras on the ISS are able to provide information about water depth and water clarity to agencies in different regions responsible for water protection.
This image taken by ISS shows a serious algae bloom in Lake Erie.
  • Images taken by the ISS of places where disasters have occurred are used by local governments to assess damages and are used for evacuation planning and disaster relief efforts.
The image on the right shows Calgary, Canada, after severe flooding in the summer of 2013.


  • The robotic arms on the ISS, the Canadarm, Canadarm2 as well as Dextre have helped develop a robot that successfully removed a brain tumor from a patient. This is the first ever brain surgery performed by a robot.
Paige Nickason, 21 years old, had her brain tumour removed by a robot.
  • Crew members on the ISS have studied the changes that occur to the immune system while in space, this can help develop medicines that suppress the immune system for patients who undergo organ transplants.
  • A device originally developed for monitoring astronauts' sleep in space has been used on earth, it can be placed under the pillow to record signals which are later analyzed to determine the quality of a person's sleep. Data collected by the device can help people realize and become aware of the need to improve their sleep.

It is extremely important that governments and society continue to provide funding and support for the operation of the International Space Station. This platform has been continuously allowing us to improve our health and quality of life as well as making the things we do everyday easier. A unique laboratory like the ISS that is equipped with a micro-gravity environment and a group of passionate scientists and innovators make it one of the most valuable assets in human civilization. The ISS allows us to acquire more knowledge and continues to raise the value of human civilization and the importance to preserve it. As for the future, ISS is the first step towards reaching beyond the boundaries of our planet and ultimately conquering our solar system.

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