At 1:53 a.m. CST (7:53 GMT), the International Space Station’s first resident crew launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan to begin its two-day journey to the station. U.S. Astronaut Bill Shepherd, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko and Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev were launched atop a Soyuz rocket. Meanwhile, the space station continues to orbit the Earth in good condition as it awaits the arrival of its first crew. Expedition 1 is scheduled to dock with the station Nov. 2 at 3:20 a.m. CST (9:20 GMT). Then, approximately 90 minutes after docking, the crew will begin the permanent human presence on the station when they open the hatch to the station’s Zvezda Service Module.
The Expedition 1 crew is comprised of three veterans of human space flight who will make history as the first resident crew of the International Space Station. U.S. Astronaut Bill Shepherd will serve as the Expedition 1 commander. He will be responsible for the overall safety and success of the mission. Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko will serve as the Soyuz commander. He will be responsible for all of the systems on the Soyuz spacecraft from launch until docking and during landing if the crew needs to use it in the event of an emergency. Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev will serve as the flight engineer. He will be responsible for most of the station's systems.
While the Expedition 1 crew inhabits the International Space Station, three space shuttle missions will visit the station to continue on-orbit construction. The first mission will be STS-97 on Flight 4A, which will deliver U.S. solar arrays to add to the station's power capability. Then, STS-98 on Flight 5A will deliver and install the U.S. Laboratory Destiny. The third mission will be STS-102 on Flight 5A.1, which will deliver equipment racks for Destiny and the Expedition 2 crew. Expedition 1 will return to Earth on STS-102.
Materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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