Index

SLUG: 5-47277 SPACE STATION OCCUPATION.rtf DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=10/30/00

TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT

TITLE=SPACE STATION OCCUPATION

NUMBER=5-47277

BYLINE=DAVID McALARY

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

INTERNET=

VOICED AT:

/// EDS: SOYUZ LAUNCH SCHEDULED AT 2:53 A.M. EST / 0753 UTC TUESDAY ///

/// THIS SCRIPT CAN BE USED UNTIL SOYUZ DOCKS WITH THE SPACE STATION THUIRSDAY, 4:24 A.M. EST / 0924 UTC ///

INTRO: A Russian Soyuz rocket [is about to lift off] [has lifted off] from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on a historic mission. It [will carry] [is carrying] the first crew to occupy the new international space station - a U-S astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts. As we hear from V-O-A Science Correspondent David McAlary, the crew arrives on Thursday to begin a busy four months continuing to set up the research outpost.

TEXT: Two years after station construction began, its first residents are about to move in. U-S astronaut William Shepherd - the first station commander - and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev have trained for this mission for four years. When they arrive at their destination Thursday, they will waste no time getting to work.

The U-S space agency's lead station flight director - Jim Van Laak [LACK] - says their days will be filled with tasks to turn the Russian "Zvezda" module into a home.

/// VAN LAAK ACT ///

When the first crew arrives, they're going to take delivery of basically an infant station. It will not be fully outfitted. Not all the systems will be operational. They will have quite a bit of work to do over the first few weeks getting those systems activated and reconfiguring the station, stowing things in permanent locations, finding their own home, so to speak.

/// END ACT ///

The crew's first tasks will be to connect food warmers, installing water processing hardware, and completing toilet assembly. Other jobs include installing air quality hardware to supply oxygen, cleanse exhaled carbon dioxide, and prevent condensation. Later in their first week comes establishment of a laptop computer network and a television link to Earth.

The U-S flight director for this first station expedition Jeff Hanley, calls it a shake-down flight to confirm procedures for operating the new manned base.

/// HANLEY ACT ///

There are a number of challenges that we face in manning the station. The first and foremost in terms of just daily operations is establishing a routine - a method of routinely operating together - not only between crew and ground but between the two control centers in Moscow and Houston. We've had good success with that thus far in the unmanned phase and we're going to be building on that experience.

/// END ACT ///

Moscow will be the lead control center for this expedition, a task Houston takes over after the United States installs the first station research laboratory in January.

Although Commander Shepherd and cosmonauts Krikalev and Gidzenko will do a few biology and engineering experiments during their sojourn, senior space station scientist Kathryn Clark says more extensive research awaits the new year.

/// CLARK ACT ///

Until the lab is there, we don't really have enough facilities. If you're thinking about hardcore peer-reviewed science, it's really at the time of the laboratory coming up and then the second crew and onward from there.

/// END ACT ///

/// OPT /// The U-S space agency NASA is counting on the station researchers to make discoveries in biology, chemistry, medicine, engineering, and materials science to benefit both future long duration space missions and life on Earth. /// END OPT ///

This is the tenth space station since the Soviet Union launched Salyut-One in 1971. It launched six more Salyuts through 1982 and four years later, sent up Mir, which is still orbiting, although unoccupied. The United States' only space station was Skylab, manned in 1973 and 1974. The flight director for the new U-S led international outpost - John Curry - says it could be aloft the longest of all of them.

/// CURRY ACT ///

What makes this different, in my opinion, is that you've got basically the world involved in this particular program. Its design life is 15 years baseline. The Mir baseline was three to five [years] and it's been up there for well over, coming up on 15 years. So who's to say how long the international space station will actually operate?

/// END ACT ///

Mr. Curry says Monday may have been the last day without humans in space. (Signed)

NEB/DEM/JWH