In the book Seveneves, early on it's mentioned that, unmongst the inhabitants of the International Space Station it is colloquially known as 'Izzy'. This nickname then persists throughout the rest of the book.

Is this from the (broad) imagination of Neal Stephenson or is the ISS actually know as 'Izzy' in real life ?

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    I can assure you from personal experience that no one at NASA uses this nickname. It referred to as "eye ess ess", "station", or its full name if the speaker is being formal. Unfortunately I have no way of backing up my assertion. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 10:32
  • Sometimes (less frequently now) as Alpha. But this was never official. Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 12:22
  • @OrganicMarble, in the lack of anything quotable for or against, I would upvote an answer based on your personal experience. It's more than we've got otherwise.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


As far as I can tell, this is a creation of the author.

Quoting from Space.com

The International Space Station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations, often is called simply "station" or "ISS" by NASA flight controllers.

"We started talking years ago about naming ISS," Mike Suffredini, NASA's International Space Station program manager, told SPACE.com. "You know, we've been busy building it. We haven’t been worrying about what we're going to call it."

During the first mission to the station, Expedition 1, NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd used the call sign "Alpha" to refer to the facility. The name has been used informally off and on over subsequent missions.

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