The International Space Station is the largest structure ever built in space. Its backbone-like main truss is as long as a football field and the station can clearly be seen from Earth by the naked eye, sometimes rivaling the planet Venus in brightness. Today, the space station is home to crews of up to six astronauts representing five different space agencies and 15 countries that built it. Construction on the $100 billion International Space Station began in 1998 and is expected to be completed by mid-2011. SPACE.com looks at the space station from the inside out to take a close look at orbiting lab.

Learn how the International Space Station (ISS) was constructed and developed to provide a permanent base for astronauts to live and work in space

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This graphic has been corrected to reflect the proper orientation of the space station's Russian docking ports.