The International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility currently being assembled in outer space. The station is in a low Earth orbit: its altitude varies from 319.6 km to 346.9 km above the surface of the Earth (approximately 199 miles to 215 miles). It travels at an average speed of 27,744 km (17,240 miles) per hour, completing 15.7 orbits per day. The ISS is a joint project between five space agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, United States), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos, Russian Federation), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA, Canada) and the European Space Agency (ESA, Europe). The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB, Brazil) participates through a separate contract with NASA. The Italian Space Agency similarly has separate contracts for various activities not done in the framework of ESA's ISS works (where Italy also fully participates).