Photos: From the IBM ThinkPad to the Apple iPad - the tech used on the ISS

The International Space Station

Laptops are essential to the running of the International Space Station -- helping the crew interact with systems that keep the station in orbit and the air breathable.

More than that, for the crew they are a communications link with the world below, as well as workhorses that support their daily operations.

Today, while there are only six crew, there are about 100 laptops, as well as smartphones, tablets and even a Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset.

This is the history of laptops used on board the ISS, since construction began in 1998, and a look at some of the newer tech finding its way on board. To find out more about this topic, you can also read our feature article.

Image: NASA

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.