Celebrating a Milestone in Space
This week marks six years of continuous crew operations aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Left image: A week-and-half prior to the Oct. 30, 2000, launch to ISS, the Expedition 1 crew members found themselves still training for their upcoming mission. They are, from the left, Yuri P. Gidzenko, Soyuz commander; William M. Shepherd, Expedition 1 commander; and Sergei K. Krikalev, flight engineer. The crew became the first to inhabit the ISS, arriving on Nov. 2. Since that time, 13 other crews have called the ISS home.
Top right image: Not long after separation of the Space Shuttle Discovery from the ISS on Oct. 26, 2000, a shuttle crew member took this "edge-on" image of the station, days prior to Expedition 1's arrival as the station's first inhabitants. Backdropped against the blackness of space, the Z1 Truss structure and its antenna is visible in the foreground.
Bottom right image: This image of the ISS, as it lies backdropped against the Earth, was taken shortly after the Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the orbital outpost on Sept. 17, 2006, after completing six days of joint operations with the station crew. Atlantis left the station with a new, second pair of 240-foot solar wings, attached to a new 17.5-ton section of truss with batteries, electronics and a giant rotating joint. The new solar arrays will double the station's onboard power when their electrical systems are brought online during the next shuttle flight, planned for launch in December 2006.
Image credit: NASA
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