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Space station marks milestone: 100,000th orbit of Earth

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- It's 100,000 laps around Earth and counting for the International Space Station.

The space station reached the orbital milestone, 17 ½ years in the making, Monday morning. NASA said these 100,000 orbits amount to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles. That's equivalent to 10 round trips to Mars, or almost one way to Neptune.

Each orbit takes about 90 minutes; 16 orbits comprise a station day.

Astronauts have been living continuously aboard the 250-mile-high complex since 2000. Construction began two years before that. Since then, 222 people have lived or visited there, the vast majority of them - 189 - men, according to NASA. Altogether, there have been 47 permanent crews representing the U.S., Russian, Canadian, Japanese and European space agencies.

Two Americans, three Russians and one Englishman currently call the space station home. They recently achieved a photographic milestone, snapping the 3 millionth picture taken over the years from the scientific outpost.

"One-hundred-thousand orbits, the journey continues," NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams said in a celebratory video from space.

Other crew members took to social media to mark the record orbit.

NASA astronaut and ISS commander Tim Kopra shared his thoughts on the popular messaging app Snapchat, giving users a more lighthearted view of his mission above the Earth.

"One thing that never gets old here is looking down on our beautiful planet," Kopra said sharing a space view of Earth in post added to NASA's "Day in Space" Snapchat Live Story.

"I think it's time for lunch. This is our galley table on the Space Station where we have our meals taped to stick down all our meals, or else everything would float off," as Kopra glided across the screen.

Earth-bound space fans also celebrated NASA's 100,000 orbits that have brought unique glimpses of our blue planet over the years.

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