The largest and most complex international construction project in space began on the steppes of Kazakhstan 20 years ago today. Atop its Proton rocket, on Nov. 20, 1998, the Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB) thundered off its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome into cold wintry skies. Zarya was built by the Khrunichev in Moscow and served as a temporary control module for the nascent ISS. Nine minutes later, Zarya was in orbit and began unfurling its antennas and solar panels, seemingly coming alive in the airless environment of low Earth orbit. The launch of the first element of the International Space Station (ISS) kicked off an incredible journey of orbital assembly, operations, and science.