This is an artist's drawing of the space station. You can see the solar arrays such as the ones Endeavor will bring in December to the Alpha space station.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Life Found on the ISS
News story originally written on November 20, 2000
Three men made the International Space Station (ISS) their home on November 2, 2000. For the next four months, Russian astronauts Yuri P. Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev
and American commander, William M. Shepherd
, will call the ISS their home.
The building of the station has been an extremely long journey filled with many setbacks, delays, funding and political issues. But now that people have made it to the station, it is likely that different crews will remain continuously on the station for at least the next 15 years. The ISS has been officially named Alpha. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and so denotes "a new beginning". It is also a neutral name in that it is neither English nor Russian.
The Alpha station is now the size of three school buses in length. In time, Gary Kitmacher, space and life sciences manager for the International Space Station says, “it will be the length of a football field.” He also adds it will become the brightest object in the night sky next to the Sun and the Moon.
Shuttle Endeavour will dock with the space station December 2, 2000. This shuttle mission will bring solar arrays that will power the station. A new crew will come to live on Alpha in February.
NASA and the Russian space agency and the other 16 countries contributing to the building of the ISS hope that this station will open the door to long-term living on the Moon and Mars.
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