Goals and Objectives. Goals of the International Space Station (ISS) are to establish a permanent habitable residence and laboratory for science and research, and to maintain and support a human crew at this facility. The ISS will vastly expand our experience in living and working in space, encourage and enable commercial development of space, and provide the capability for humans to perform unique long duration space-based research in cell and developmental biology, plant biology, human physiology, fluid physics, combustion science, materials science and fundamental physics. The ISS will also provide a unique platform for making observations of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, the sun, and other astronomical objects. The experience and results obtained from using the ISS will guide the future direction of human exploration of space.
The ISS is the largest and most complex international scientific project in history. The completed station will have a mass of about 1,040,000 lbs. (470 metric tons). It will measure 356 ft (108 m) across and 290 ft (88 m) long, with almost an acre of solar panels to provide up to 110 kilowatts power to six state-of-the-art laboratories. Led by the United States, the ISS draws upon the scientific and technological resources of 16 nations: Canada, Japan, Russia, 11 nations of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Brazil.
After the initial major milestones for the ISS program since begin of orbital assembly in 1998, which included the first crewed logistics/supply flight of a space shuttle in May/June 1999, the arrival of the first long-duration station crew of U.S. Commander William Shepherd and Russian Pilot/Flight Engineers Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev in November 2000 and the installation of the first set of U.S. solar array wings in December 2000, build-up and early operations of the permanently crewed station continued through 2001 in rapid pace.
In February 2001, the addition of the U.S. Laboratory module Destiny made the ISS into the first long-term U.S. orbiting research laboratory in 27 years (Skylab, 1974); also, ISS day-to-day command and flight control transitioned from the Russian to the American segment. In March, the Expedition 1 crew was "rotated" with the new station crew of Russian Commander Yuri Usachev and U.S. Flight Engineers Susan Helms and Jim Voss, and the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo ferried the first three science racks to the station. In April, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) Canadarm2, primary contribution by ISS partner Canada, was successfully mounted to the ISS, while the second Italian MPLM Raffaello brought additional cargo and research equipment. In July, Canadarm2 was used to install the U.S. Airlock module Quest at the Node Unity, providing the station residents with their own "door" to space for EVAs (extravehicular activities), using both U.S. and Russian spacesuit systems. In August 2001, the Expedition 3 crew of U.S. Commander Frank Culbertson and Russian Flight Engineers Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin arrived along with MPLM Leonardo on its second cargo run, bringing the total research rack number in the ISS Lab to five. In September, the Russian Docking Compartment (DC-1) Pirs was brought from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz rocket and attached to the Service Module Zvezda, to give the station a second airlock for spacewalks in Russian Orlan-M spacesuits. In December 2001, the Expedition 4 crew of Russian Commander Yuri Onufrienko and U.S. Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch rotated with Expedition 3, which returned to Earth after 128 days in space. By end-2000, 12 carriers had been launched to the ISS: six shuttles, two heavy Protons (FGB/Zarya, SM/Zvezda), and three Soyuz-U (Progress 1P, Progress 2P, Soyuz 2R). One year later, by end-2001, ISS missions totalled 24, of which 12 were flown by U.S. space shuttles, the other half by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets.
STS-98. The February 7-20 flight of Atlantis, designated ISS-5A, was the seventh visit of the station by a space shuttle. Atlantis carried the $1.4-billion US Laboratory module Destiny and a crew of five (Kenneth D. Cockrell, Mark L. Polansky, Robert L. Curbeam, Marsha S. Ivins, Thomas D. Jones). Docking at the ISS PMA3 port took place on February 9, and on the following day the 28 x 14-ft. (8.5 x 4.3 m) Lab was installed at the Node Unity by Ivins using the shuttle's RMS robotarm, assisted by spacewalkers Curbeam and Jones in a spacewalk (EVA) lasting 7h34m. Two more EVAs followed in the next four days (EVA2: 6h50m; EVA3: 5h25m) as the ISS crew completed setup and activation of critical and noncritical Lab systems. EVA3 was the historic 100th spacewalk in the US Space Program, the 16th in the ISS Program, and the 60th for the shuttle program. Atlantis departed on February 16 (9:06am), after a docked time of 6d 21h 15m, bringing the total docked time of shuttles linked to ISS as of now to 47d 1h 13m. After several wave-offs due to KSC weather conditions, Atlantis returned to Earth on 2/20, landing at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), California, at 3:33pm EST, the 47th shuttle landing at the West Coast alternate site.
STS-102. Mission ISS-5A.1, flown by Discovery, took place on March 8-21.; The eightth visit to the space station carried resupply and systems/science racks for outfitting the US Lab Destiny, all packed in Leonardo, the first of three Italian-built multipurpose logistics modules (MPLMs) used as "moving van", and a crew of seven, including the new ISS resident crew: James D. Wetherbee, James M. Kelly, Andrew S.W. Thomas, Paul W. Richards, James S. Voss (up only), Susan J. Helms (up only), Yuri V. Usachev (up only). Docking on March 10 (1:38am) was delayed 64 min. by a problem with ISS solar array latching. During the docked period of 8d 21h 54m, the MPLM was transferred to the ISS' Node nadir port, unloaded, filled with trash and discarded equipment, and returned to the shuttle. In two spacewalks on March 11 and 13, Helms and Voss (8h 56m, the longest EVA in Shuttle history), then Thomas and Richards (6h 21m) worked outside to support ISS assembly. It was the 101st EVA in the US Space Program, the 61st of the shuttle program (bringing total STS spacewalk time to 386 h 15 min), and the 17th EVA in ISS assembly (bringing total ISS EVA time to 117 h 39 min). In the first crew rotation, Usachev, Voss and Helms became the new station crew, replacing Shepherd, Krikalev and Gidzenko who returned to Earth after 140d in space (136d in ISS). This brought the total time of shuttle orbiters docked to ISS to 55d 23h 7m. Discovery returned to KSC at 2:31am EST, the 17th night landing in the shuttle program, and the 12th night landing at KSC.
STS-100. Endeavour lifted off on time (2:40pm EDT) on Mission ISS-6A, which lasted from April 19-May 1. It carried the 3960 lbs (1800 kg) Canada-built Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), the 2nd Italian-built MPLM Raffaello (total mass loaded: 9000 lbs/4100 kg), and a crew of seven: Kent V. Rominger, Jeffrey S. Ashby, John L. Phillips, Scott E. Parazynski, and three foreign crewmembers, Umberto Guidoni (ESA/Italy), Yuri V. Lonchakov (Russia) and Chris A. Hadfield (Canada). Endeavour docked on April 21. The mission featured two EVAs by Parazynski and Hadfield, one on April 22 to support transfer and deployment of the SSRMS Canadarm2 from the shuttle payload bay (PLB) to the ISS Lab module and install an UHF antenna (duration: 7h 10m), the second on April 24 for external connections and removal of an Early Communications System antenna from the Node (7h 40m). This brought the number of ISS EVAs to 19, of shuttle EVAs to 63, and of all US EVAs to 103. The MPLM was berthed at the Node on April 24. The crew transferred two EXPRESS payload racks and individual components from it to the ISS and loaded it with return cargo. Raffaello was returned to the PLB on April 27, as Mission Control Houston and the ISS crew struggled with some temporary computer breakdowns. Endeavour undocked on April 29 (1:34pm EDT), did a flyaround of the station and returned to Earth on May 1 (12:11pm EDT), landing at EAFB due to rainy weather at KSC.
Soyuz TM-32. The April 28-May 6 Russian mission 2S was the first "taxi" flight to the ISS, bringing a "fresh" Soyuz crew return vehicle for the ISS crew, as Soyuz TM-31 was approaching its certified lifetime of 200 days. 2S was crewed by Talgat A. Musabaev and Yuri M. Baturin, and it also carried the first commercial space tourist, U.S. businessman Dennis Tito, who had paid $20 million to the Russian Space Agency (RSA) for the ride. After liftoff in Baikonur (3:37am EDT), the Soyuz capsule caught up with ISS in 34 orbits and docked smoothly at the Zarya nadir port on April 30 (3:58am EDT), followed by hatch opening at 5:22am. Tito, floating into the SM: "Don't know about that 'adaptation' they were talking about. I'm already adapted. I love space!" His onboard activities centered on amateur photography and videorecording of Earth views. On May 5, the three visitors climbed into the "old" Soyuz TM-31, docked at the SM Zvezda aft end, and separated physically at 10:19pm EDT. They landed in Kazakhstan near Arkalyk, in a "textbook landing" at 1:41am EDT, emerging from the Descent Module in great spirits, with a thump-up beaming Dennis Tito declaring that he had been "in paradise".
STS-104. Atlantis lifted off on time (5:04am EDT) on Mission ISS-7A, lasting from July 12-24, The 10th assembly flight and the 18th launch in the ISS program (counting US and Russian flights), it carried a crew of five (Steven W. Lindsey, Charles O. Hobaugh, Michael L. Gernhardt, Janet L. Kavandi, James F. Reilly) and the 6.5-ton Joint Airlock Quest, which--after docking on July 13 (11:08pm)--was installed at the Node's starboard berthing port, completing Phase II of the ISS program. Also installed were four high-pressure tanks with oxygen and nitrogen. These activities were supported by three spacewalks by Gernhardt and Reilly, the last one from the new Airlock: EVA1 on July 14 for5h 59m; EVA2 on July 17 for 6h 29m (the 66th spacewalk in the shuttle program, and the 23rd EVA for the ISS, including a Russian "internal" EVA on 6/8, setting also a new record in being the 10th EVA in a single calendar year), and EVA3 on 7/21, for 4h 2 m. Atlantis landed at KSC at 11:39pm after the planned earlier opportunity was waived due to weather conditions at the Cape.
STS-105. Launched at 5:10pm EDT on ISS assembly mission 7A.1 (August 10-22), Discovery linked up with the station on August 12 (2:53pm) with a four-member crew (Scott J. Horowitz, Frederick W. Sturckow, Patrick G. Forrester, Daniel T. Barry) plus the new Expedition 3 crew Frank L. Culbertson, Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin on the second "crew rotation" mission. Discovery also brought equipment and supplies, carried in the MPLM Leonardo on its second flight, which was docked temporarily at the Node for unloading and reloading with return cargo. Barry and Forrester conducted two spacewalks to install an ammonia servicer, materials experiment carriers, handrails and cables. EVA1 was on August 16, for 6h 16min (the 25th devoted to the ISS); EVA2 followed on August 18, for 5h 29 min. The shuttle landed at KSC at 2:23pm EDT with the Expedition 2 crew (Yuri Usachev, Jim Voss, Susan Helms) which had spent 167d 7h 41m in space.
DC-1 "Pirs". The Russian Docking Compartment DC-1, mission 3R, was launched uncrewed on September 14 on a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur/Kazakhstan at 7:35pm EDT. The "Stikovochniy Otsek No. 1" (SO1) linked up with the ISS on September 16 (9:05pm EDT). The new 16-ft- (4.88-m)-long module, with a mass of 8000 lbs (3.6 metric tons), added an additional docking port for future Soyuz and Progress vehicles arriving at the station, plus an added stowage area and an airlock for EVAs in Russian Orlan-M spacesuits. DC-1 was launched attached to a cargo ship named Progress M-SO1, a Soyuz-derived instrumentation and propulsion section of about 3000 lbs mass, which was jettisoned on 10/1. ISS mass now totaled 303,500 lbs (137.67 metric tons).
Soyuz TM-33. Soyuz-207, ISS mission 3S, was the second ISS "taxi" flight, lasting from October 21-30. Liftoff at Baikonur was at 4:59am EDT. Its Franco-Russian "taksisty" crew was Viktor Afanasyev, Konstantin Kozeyev and Claudie Haigneré, a French woman flying commercially. They brought a "fresh" Soyuz crew return vehicle (CRV) to the station, good for another 200 days. Docking was on October 23 (6:44am) at the FGB Zarya nadir port. Crew assignment included the French "Andromède" (Andromeda) science mission, initiated by the French Ministry of Research and led by the French Space Agency CNES. During the ensuing welcoming ceremony, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin spoke to the crew from MCC-Moscow (TsUP). Afanasyev, Kozeyev and Haigneré departed in the "old" Soyuz TM-32 at 8:36 pm EST and landed in Kazakhstan under automatic control at 11:59 pm EST.
STS-108. On the December 5-17 mission ISS-UF-1, Endeavour lifted off at 5:19 pm EST, carrying MPLM Raffaello with ~3 t of cargo and four crewmembers: Dominic L. Gorie, Mark E. Kelly, Linda M. Godwin, Daniel M. Tani, plus the fourth expeditionary crew of Yuri Onufrienko, Daniel W. Bursch and Carl E. Walz for the space station, to "rotate" with the Exp. 3 crew after their 128 day-stay in space. Endeavour also carried into space nearly 6000 American flags, a large flag recovered from the remains of the World Trade Center, police shields and firefighter badges, as part of NASA's "Flags for Heroes and Families" effort commemorating the Sep[tember 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It was the 12th shuttle mission to the ISS and the first Utilization Flight (UF-1) of the ISS program. Docking was on December 7 (3:03 pm). The MPLM was transferred to the Node nadir port by Godwin with the shuttle RMS on December 8 (12:55 pm). Tani and Godwin conducted a 4h11m EVA on December 10, the 26th from a shuttle docked to ISS. After cargo unloading and its replacement with discarded equipment and waste, Raffaello was returned to the shuttle cargo bay on December 14 (4:10 pm). Before its undocking on the following day (12:28 am), Endeavour conducted three reboosts of the station, with a total mean altitude increase of 7.6 n.mi. (14 km). It landed at KSC at12:55 pm EST, concluding a highly successful mission. Along with 12 Russian launches, UF-1 brought the total ISS missions count to 24.
In addition to the above missions, Russia launched four uncrewed Progress logistics/resupply missions to the ISS : M-44 (3P) on February 26, M1-6 (4P) on May 20, M-45 (5P) on August 21, M1-7 (6P) on November 26.