On 20th November 1998, the first module of the International Space Station was launched
The module was called Zarya and was Russian-built and American-owned. Zarya is an FGB (Functional Cargo Block), which provided electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly. The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project operated by 5 space agencies – the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, US's NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is a manned artificial satellite. The brightest man-made object visible to the naked eye from Earth. ISS orbits the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour) at an average distance of 248 miles (400 kilometers) from Earth.
The station's purpose is to serve as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory where scientific research is conducted in meteorology, astronomy, astrobiology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is suited for testing the spacecraft systems and equipment required for possible future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.