International Space Station Makes 100,000th Orbit of Earth - NBC New York
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International Space Station Makes 100,000th Orbit of Earth

Each orbit takes about 90 minutes, 16 orbits comprise a day on the station

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    This May 23, 2011 photo made by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking and released by NASA shows the International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour, left.

    It's 100,000 laps around Earth and counting for the International Space Station. 

    The space station reached the orbital milestone — 17½ years in the making — Monday morning. NASA said these 100,000 orbits are akin to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles. That's equivalent to 10 round trips to Mars, or almost one way to Neptune.

    Each orbit takes about 90 minutes; 16 orbits comprise a station day.

    Astronauts have been living continuously aboard the 250-mile-high complex since 2000. Construction began two years before that. Since then, 222 people have lived or visited there, the vast majority of them— 189 — men, according to NASA. Altogether, there have been 47 permanent crews representing the U.S., Russian, Canadian, Japanese and European space agencies.

    Two Americans, three Russians and one Englishman currently call the space station home. They recently achieved a photographic milestone, snapping the 3 millionth picture taken over the years from the scientific outpost.

    "One-hundred-thousand orbits, the journey continues," NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams said in a celebratory video from space.