MN astronaut Bob Cabana helps celebrate the International Space Station's 15th anniversary today

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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The International Space Station is celebrating its 15th anniversary today. On Dec. 10, 1998, space shuttle mission commander Robert Cabana and his cosmonaut crewmate Sergei Krikalev opened the hatches to link the U.S. Unity node and the Russian-built Zayra module, linking the first pieces of the ISS together.

Cabana, now the Director of Kennedy Space Center, joined KARE 11 Sunrise to talk about that key moment 15 years ago. Cabana, a Minnesota native, grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from Washburn High School.

Five different space agencies representing 15 countries contributed to the project. The ISS has since grown into a research complex weighing over a million pounds and stretching longer than an American football field.