The first module of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched 23 years ago today. It was given the name "Zarya", the Russian word for "Dawn" to signify the new era in international cooperation in Space.
The first US Component launched the following month. First crew arrived on November 2. 2000. The ISS has continuously had crew aboard since then. Another way to look at this was the last time all of humanity has been on Earth.
You still see the ISS referenced as Zarya in the Air Force's tracking data of objects orbiting Earth. NASA also refers to this section of the station as the Functional Cargo Block (FGB).
Zarya along with the 16 other modules that make up the football-field-sized ISS will be visible this week. There are currently 7 astronauts aboard the station including 3 Americans, 2 Russians, along with Japanese and French astronauts.
The ISS will rise on the southwestern horizon at 5:52 p.m. on Saturday, pass nearly directly overhead before disappearing into the Earth's shadow six minutes later. When it first becomes visible it will be over the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans.