The Sky Polarization Observatory (SPOrt) is an ASI-funded experiment specifically designed to measure the sky polarization at 22, 32 and 90 GHz, which was selected in 1997 by ESA to be flown on the International Space Station. Starting in 2006 and for at least 18 months, it will be taking direct and simultaneous measurements of the Stokes parameters Q and U at 660 sky pixels, with FWHM=7°. Due to development efforts over the past few years, the design specifications have been significantly improved with respect to the first proposal. Here we present an up-to-date description of the instrument, which now warrants a pixel sensitivity of 1.7 μK for the polarization of the cosmic background radiation, assuming two years of observations. We discuss SPOrt scientific goals in the light of WMAP results, in particular in connection with the emerging double-reionization cosmological scenario.