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March 21, 2001

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center

Release: J01-29

Public Invited to Welcome Discovery, Expedition One Crews Home

The four-member crew of Discovery and the three Expedition One crewmembers will return home to Ellington Field, Hangar 990, about 4 p.m. Thursday.

The public is invited to join JSC employees and families in welcoming the crews back to Earth. Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Jim Kelly, and Mission Specialists Andy Thomas and Paul Richards and the Expedition One crew—Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev—will be greeted by Johnson Space Center Acting Director Roy Estess as they return home to Houston.

Wetherbee, Kelly, Thomas and Richards spent 12 days, 19 hours and 49 minutes on orbit. They conducted a successful rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, supported two space walks to facilitate the first use of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and installed a station robot arm anchor point. They also witnessed the first station crew changeout, unloaded 5 tons of equipment and experiments, and packed up a ton of unneeded station equipment and trash for return to Earth.

Shepherd, Gidzenko and Krikalev spent 136 days aboard the space station following their Oct. 31, 2000, launch aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule. The initial spacefarers to live aboard the orbiting outpost, the crew initiated operation of the station’s systems including activating the U.S. Destiny Laboratory.

For updates on crew arrival time call 281-483-8600.


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