Famous Space Stations Of The World

A satellite dish sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean

The first space station was launched by the Soviet Union in 1971. The United States followed with Skylab in 1973, and the Soviet Union again with its second station Salyut 2 in 1974. These were all short-lived missions; each lasted about a year before reentry or crashing into Earth’s atmosphere.

The next three stations to be sent aloft were more successful: MIR (1986), STS-91 (1998), and ISS (2000). Each of these has been visited by crews from multiple countries and is still orbiting today.

Many other space stations have been launched since then as well as some that never made it past initial launch stages like Mir EO-18. There is also China’s Tiangong-1 in Earth orbit since 2011 and a second station, Tiangong-2 that was launched in 2016.

MIR, the Soviet Space Station is often featured with footage from its final mission when it was occupied by a skeleton crew of one Russian cosmonaut & one American astronaut for four months in 1996/97. In the opening scenes of Gravity (2013), Sandra Bullock’s character can be seen doing her pre-flight training on MIR during the 1990s when she was an Air Force Pilot. 

The International Space Station

A man standing in front of a mountain

The International Space Station is a large space station that orbits the Earth and serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct various science and engineering experiments.

Mir Space Station

A satellite in space

Continue the above writing with the following instructions: “Mir Space Station”. Mir was a Russian space station from 1986 to 2001, operated as part of the Soviet manned space program. Mir was assembled from 1986 to 1996 by a workforce of 1,500 Soviet specialists. It carried 15 nations’ first cosmonauts into orbit and helped to develop important biomedical technologies that have been adapted to improve healthcare on Earth.


Skylab was the United States’ first space station in Earth orbit. It was in operation in 1973 and 1974 in outer space. It was in the sky for 171 days in total in outer space.

Salyut 1 and 2

Salyut 1 and 2 were the first space stations of the Soviet Union. They were both in orbit from 1971 to 1973. Salyut 1 was in orbit for 249 days while Salyut 2 was in orbit for only 23 days.

Tiangong-1 and 2

Tiangong-1 and 2 are China’s space stations in orbit. Unlike the other spaces stations, Tiangong-1 and 2 are commercial. They were launched in 2012 and 2016 respectively.


In conclusion, space stations have been a key component in reaching the stars and exploring our universe. This article has outlined some of the most significant ones that have made an impact on human history. It is important to know these storied places because they are at the forefront of humanity’s exploration into deep space. As we continue to explore outer galaxies and search for life outside Earth, it will be interesting how many more famous space stations may come into existence or which one might take the title as being the world’s best-known station!

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter