Monday, November 28, 2016

Station celebrates 16 years of occupation (revised)

On Nov. 2, 2000, the first three people to inhabit the International Space Station arrived at the outpost in their Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft.

NASA astronaut William Sheperd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev  docked to the aft port of the Zvezda service module. At the time, the ISS consisted of only three pressurized modules.

Sheperd, Krikalev and Gidzenko spent four-and-a-half months living aboard ISS. During that time a single Progress cargo ship and three space shuttles visited the complex.

The first two shuttles, Endeavour and Atlantis, each brought up pieces of the outpost. Endeavour brought the P6 truss in December 2000 while Atlantis brought the first station laboratory, Destiny, in February 2001.

Discovery launched in March 2001 and brought up supplies for the outpost. Additionally, the spacecraft ferried three new crew members to the outpost: Russian cosmonaut Yury Usachev and NASA astronauts James Voss and Susan Helms. They would form Expedition 2.

The Expedition 1 crew would return home in Discovery having completed 141 days in orbit. Today, the International Space Station is currently hosting Expedition 50. The outpost has since been completed and six people regularly inhabit it.

Since Nov. 2, 2000, there has always been at least two people living in orbit – a record time of uninterrupted occupation of space.

Revised by Terry Richardson


  1. I have never known there have been astronauts living in orbit since 2000. Also, with seeing how long ago this station was put up, I wonder what it looks like now. What new features have they added and for how long do they plan on using this station. After reading this article, I have decided to research a little more on my own over this topic.

  2. The ISS is an amazing complex that will hopefully be used through at least 2024, possibly 2028. I'm not sure what you've researched so far, but here is a quick video showing the assembly sequence (it is accurate through 2011 -- after that a couple more pieces were added or moved.

    If you want to read more, you can find info on NASA's website ( The Wikipedia page is has accurate information about the outpost as well. Additionally, you can also visit my website I'm working on, (shameless plug).