Standing tall as one of mankind's most astonishing achievements, the International Space Station (ISS) is truly a work of art. Moreover, it clearly demonstrates what we, as humans from all across the globe, are capable of when we come together with one singular goal: the pursuit of knowledge.
Above all else (yes, even images so beautiful, they take your breath away), the ISS was built to study the effects of microgravity, and to conduct experiments in fields that range anywhere from meteorology, physics, biology (both human and non-human) to astronomy. Oh and boy, the things we've learned from those experiments between the launch of its first module in 1998 and now.
As a fun aside to go along with this stunning view of the ISS and Earth, the International Space Station's orbiting altitude is between 330 km and 410 km Ultimately, it takes almost 93 minutes for it to make one complete orbit around Earth. As such, the astronauts on the ISS — who've remained on the station continuously for over 15 years — see about 16 sunrises and sunsets each day!
SLIDESHOW: The ISS At Its Best & Most Beautiful