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A group of American and Russian astronauts prepare for a mission to the International Space Station (Photo: Mikhail Japaridze\TASS via Getty Images)

A total of 236 people from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station (ISS) since construction began in 1998. The total number of visitors to the space station since it's been permanently crewed, which began in Nov. 2000, is 219 people from the same 18 countries.

Driving the news: The current expedition, Expedition 59, is made up of six astronauts — including 3 Americans, 2 Russians and a Canadian. The expedition began in March 2019.

  • Two Russian cosmonauts, Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Kononenko, are headed outside of the ISS for a spacewalk on Wednesday to "retrieve science experiments and conduct maintenance," per NASA. The spacewalk began at 11:44 a.m. ET and is expected to last 6.5 hours. You can watch it here.

The backdrop: The $100 billion ISS has been continuously occupied by rotating crews of astronauts since its first crew arrived in November 2000, according to NASA.

  • There are typically three to six astronauts aboard at once and they can live on the station for six months or, in some cases, a year at a time.
  • The working and living space of the station is larger than a 6-bedroom house.

Visitors to the International Space Station by country, per NASA:

  • The United States: 149 people
    • Christina Koch, Nick Hague and Anne McClain are currently on the station.
  • Russia: 47 people
    • Aleksey Ovchinin and Oleg Kononenko are currently on the station.
  • Japan: 9 people
  • Canada: 8 people
    • David Saint-Jacques is currently on the station.
  • Italy: 5 people
  • France: 4 people
  • Germany: 3 people
  • Belgium: 1 person
  • Netherlands: 1 person
  • Sweden: 1 person
  • Brazil: 1 person
  • Denmark: 1 person
  • Kazakhstan: 1 person
  • Malaysia: 1 person
  • South Africa: 1 person
  • South Korea: 1 person
  • Spain: 1 person
  • Great Britain: 1 person

Go deeper: Where the International Space Station is right now

Go deeper

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cell phone records show former USCP Chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant at arms as early as 12:58 p.m. on Jan. 6, but did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.

Manhattan prosecutors reportedly obtain millions of pages of Trump's tax records

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.

Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The digital dollar is now high priority for the Fed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. is starting to get serious about a central-bank-backed digital currency, with recent comments from top officials laying out the strongest support yet.

Driving the news: On Tuesday Fed chair Jerome Powell told Congress that developing a digital dollar is a "high priority project for us," but added that there are "significant technical and policy questions."