The world space programme has made huge strides since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first-ever artificial satellite, in 1957.

Today space research is a multi-billion dollar global enterprise dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. A critical component of that is the International Space Station (ISS), a research satellite that orbits the Earth.


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Astronauts live in the ISS for months, conducting experiments and collecting data for scientific advancements.

On Monday's show: Astronauts aboard the ISS talk to Al Jazeera about their mission and experience. Flight engineers Douglas Wheelock, Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Shannon Walker tell us about life in orbit and the challenges they face exploring the final frontier.

We will also discuss the future of NASA's space plans including the Constellation programme and the mission to Mars.

This episode of Riz Khan aired from Monday, December 27, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera