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Initiation of the ISS project

From Competition to Cooperation.
Project started in 1984.


President Reagan called for worldwide cooperation, in 1984.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began talking about an International Space Station in 1982, and full discussions started in 1984. With then President Reagan's announcement, "Within ten years we are going to construct a Space Station where mankind can stay.", the International Space Station (ISS) program was officially started. At the international conference held in London in the same year, he called upon attending countries to participate in the program.
Artist's image of the ISS drawn in 1987, three years after the program started.
This structure was called "a double-keel configuration" since two large keels were stretching out from its central structure. This shape is very different from that of today's ISS.
Until 1987, space development ment competition among countries.
Mankind explored space for the first time in April 1961 when Yuri Gagarin was successfully launched aboard Vostok 1 by the Soviet Union (now Russia).
In 1969 the United States of America became the first nation to successfully land a man on the moon. Space development of those days was a competition between the USA and Russia, and the pride of both countries depended on their performance. Both countries were facing severe competition and conducting research on their own.
Nine years have passed since the ISS program was announced in 1984. Countries, including the two major rivals of old days, got together and are going to utilize their top technologies for the common target, ISS.

Soviet Union (now Russia)
United States of America


Last Updated : Apr. 1, 1999

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