Double Helix blog

Build your own International Space Station


A paper model of a space station.You will need


What to do


Follow the instructions you have downloaded and you will have your very own model of the International Space Station! You can also play the video below to see the steps involved.

What’s happening

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest and most complicated spacecraft ever built. It is being constructed by a collaboration of one hundred thousand people, hundreds of companies, and sixteen nations spread over four continents.

The space station is in a low Earth orbit and can be seen from Earth with the unaided eye. It orbits at an altitude of about 350 kilometres above the Earth and travels at an average speed of 27 700 kilometres per hour, orbiting the Earth 16 times a day!

If you’re after more science activities for kids, subscribe to Double Helix magazine!

Subscribe button

Author: Jas

Jasmine is the Editor of Double Helix magazine and also works on our weekly email newsletters. She loves all science, but specialises in genetics and science history. She enjoys hula hooping and playing the ukulele! Find her on Twitter @jasfellows.


  1. But what if u cant download the paper thing

  2. Did you just use regular paper, or cardstock?

    • Hi Rena,
      I’m not sure what we used – this activity is originally from 2009. However, given the shininess in the video, it might have been photo paper. If using card, I’d make it quite thin – you need to make some pretty tight rolls to make the cylindrical modules.

      Sorry I couldn’t help more,

    • Cardstock is preferred. You can use 165 gm (90 lb of weight) cardstock. The model on the video is the actual printout that was included in the CSIRO magazine as a pullout template. You can use glossy cardstock, too.

  3. Hey!
    I was wondering is i can make it with regular paper?

  4. How big is the model?

  5. i like it

  6. Can you use Elmers glue?

  7. My husband isn’t super keen on Christmas and is a very science/astronomy based kinda guy… to get him feeling in the Christmas spirit I’m going to print this out tomorrow eve and make it with him to put on top of our Christmas tree. Compromise at its best 😉

  8. The video does not show where and how to glue the last component, the Airlock “O”, to the model. It does not show which way to orient the tabs or whether to bend them.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.