The International Space Station (ISS) is an internationally developed research facility that is being assembled in low orbit. On-orbit construction of the station began in 1998 and is scheduled for completion by 2011. Here is a nice animated diagram which shows how the ISS has grown from 1998 to date, piece by piece.
The ISS is one of the favourite targets of amature astronomers and stargazers. Here is a fantastic photo of it, against the background of the Sun’s circle, made by the distinguished French astro-photographer Thierry Legault. Explore his web-page for more stunning astrophotos.