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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford University's 90%-effective vaccine.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 coronavirus deaths — Americans line up for testing ahead of Thanksgiving.
  3. Travel: Air travel's COVID-created future — Over 1 million U.S. travelers flew on Friday, despite calls to avoid holiday travel.
  4. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. coronavirus hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  5. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  6. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.

Biden transition names first Cabinet nominees

Biden with John Kerry. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his nominations for top national security positions in his administration, tapping former Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar and former deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: Haines, if confirmed, would make history as the first woman to oversee the U.S. intelligence community. Biden also plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first Latino secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.