How many people can fit on the ISS? At what person would life support be overwhelmed?

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    $\begingroup$ The number of astronauts is limited by the number of simultaneously docked Soyuz capsules at the ISS. For each astronaut there should be a seat in docked Soyuz if an emergency evacuation is necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ Highly related: space.stackexchange.com/questions/21759/… An answer there says the limit is 12. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze you cannot reenter safely in a Soyuz without a custom fitted seat liner space.stackexchange.com/questions/12926/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze that answer does not address the seat liner issue. space.stackexchange.com/questions/21310/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 1:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze you cannot fit more than 3 people into a Soyuz. There just isn't enough room for that. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


The most that have been on the ISS at one time is 13 persons, but only for a short duration during crew changeover. Reference: www.space.com/6503-population-space-historic-high-13.html

  • $\begingroup$ But that was with a docked Shuttle which carries its own life-support. $\endgroup$
    – GordonD
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 10:07

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