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New module is welcomed by crew of space station
Copyright 1999 Houston Chronicle 

The newly linked Russian crew habitation module is proving to be a welcome 
addition to the U.S.-led international space station, NASA said Wednesday. 

The 43-foot-long module called Zvezda docked with the orbital outpost late 
Tuesday, immediately expanding the station's span and mass to nearly 120 feet 
and 110,000 pounds and taking over guidance and propulsion duties. 

More important, however, its living quarters make it possible for astronauts 
to live and work aboard the orbital outpost for the first time, rather than 
to just visit for a few days. 

"This has been an energizer," said NASA's Mark Ferring, who leads a team of 
nine experts that monitors activities aboard the station from mission control 
at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "We have been working hard for a lot 
of years to build the station, and we haven't been doing much building." 

Russian economic problems delayed the addition of the essential crew module 
by 27 months. Tuesday's linkup promises to unleash the launching of 15 supply 
and assembly flights in the next year. 

The first resident crew, American commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts 
Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko, is scheduled to blast off Oct. 30 for a 
three- to four-month stay. 

The massive crew module is secured to a pair of previously launched station 
modules by 24 latching mechanisms. Two modules were launched and linked in 
Earth orbit by a U.S. and Russian space shuttle crew in late 1998. 

The final step in merging the three modules into a single spacecraft is 
scheduled to unfold this weekend. 

Supervised by Russia's mission control in suburban Moscow, the operation will 
establish a computer communications link between Zvezda and the station's 
older modules. The link will give control teams in Houston and Moscow much 
greater flexibility in the way they issue ground commands to the outpost. 

July 27, 2000 
KSC gears up for missions to space station
By Steven Siceloff
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Now that the crucial Russian Zvezda Service Module has 
become part of the International Space Station, NASA employees and 
contractors are readying the shuttle fleet for a torrent of launches during 
the next several years. 
"Now it's our turn, (and) we've got to go perform," Tip Talone, the station 
manager at Kennedy Space Center, said Wednesday from his office. 

Talone's comments came after Zvezda enjoyed a trouble-free docking Tuesday 
night about 230 miles above Earth, adding 43 feet and 21 tons of living 
quarters and guidance systems to the young station. 

With Zvezda finally in place, Talone and other workers at KSC are gearing up 
for 11 shuttle missions between September and the end of 2001. 

By contrast, only three shuttle flights occurred in all of 1999, mostly 
because of Russian financial problems that delayed the delivery of the key 
Zvezda part for more than two years. 

With the increased shuttle flights, the entire Space Coast is gearing up for 
a dramatic hike in business activity. 

Of 11 missions planned between September and the end of 2001, all but one 
will head for the station. 

The flights include: 

A September resupply mission. 
An October mission attaching the first segment of the 300-foot-long metal 
truss that will support massive solar arrays. 
A November flight to erect a power tower of solar panels. 
A January mission to connect a research laboratory. 
A February resupply mission. 
An April mission attaching a 55-foot robot arm. 
A May flight to attach an airlock. 
A June resupply mission. 
An August 2001 mission carrying experiments to the station. 
An October mission to attach the central section of the truss. 
A research mission aboard Columbia is also expected in 2001; this is the one 
mission that will not head to the station. 
The May flight is especially significant in that it will mark the end of the 
first phase of station construction. 

An airlock, which provides spacewalkers a safe passageway to the outside of 
the station, will be added during that May mission. 

"We really are going to have ourselves a space station then (after the May 
flight)," Talone said. "With the airlock, (the station crew) can fend for 
itself and make repairs if it has to." 

Until the station's airlock arrives, astronauts will have to use the 
shuttle's airlock for spacewalks, which means the shuttle must be in place 
for any work to be done outside the station. 

Once the airlock is place in May, construction work will slow while resupply 
missions occur. 

Then, construction will pick up again in October. 

By the end of 2001, although far from complete, the station will have the 
volume of a three-bedroom house and be the third-brightest object in the 
nighttime sky. Only the Moon and Venus will be brighter. 

In another development, a NASA cargo plane touched down at Kennedy Space 
Center on Wednesday morning with another piece of the station. 

The 45-foot-long segment it carried will be part of the girderlike structure 
that eventually will span more than 300 feet and support the station's 
massive solar arrays that will power station experiments. 

The segment arrived from Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Ala., 
where all the American station pieces are built before being sent to KSC for 

Once completed between 2005 and 2007, the station will measure more than 300 
feet long. With its solar panels in place, the assembly will cover more than 
two football fields. 
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