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Launched Nov. 20, 1998
Flight 1A/R

Zarya Zarya

Launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Zarya is provided the early propulsion, steering and communications for the station until Zvezda arrived. Afterwards, Zarya is used as a passageway, stowage facility, docking port and fuel tank.

Shuttle Mission STS-88

Launched Dec. 4, 1998
Flight 2A

Unity/Zarya Unity/Zarya

The first wholly U.S. component was launched Dec. 4, 1998, aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. Unity provides six docking ports, one on each side. With Zarya permanently attached to one of those, the remaining five will serve as attach points, to which all future U.S. modules will be joined. This Shuttle Mission Crew was also known unofficially as the "Stealth Dog Crew III". Click here for more information.

Shuttle Mission STS-96

Launched May 27, 1999
Flight 2A.1


Astronaut Tamara Jernigan, backdropped against terrain, totes part of a Russian-built crane, called Strela (a Russian word meaning "arrow"). Jernigan's feet are anchored on a mobile foot restraint connected to Discovery's remote manipulator sytsem (RMS). Astronauts Jernigan and Daniel T. Barry went on to spend over seven hours on the space walk.

Discovery launched May 27, 1999 and docked with the ISS two days later. Aboard was 2,000 pounds of supplies and logistics to prepare the orbiting facility with equipment that eventually will be used by crews that live aboard for long durations. It was the second shuttle mission dedicated to the assembly and outfitting of the station.

Shuttle Mission STS-101

Launched May 19, 2000
Flight 2A.2a


Astronaut Jeffrey N. Williams, mission specialist, works to attach the newly delivered main boom of the Russian crane (Strela) to its operator post (which had been delivered earlier by mission 2A.1). The Electronic Still Camera's image also shows work conducted on pressurized mating adapter 2 (PMA2) prior to Strela relocation to PMA1.

Atlantis returned to space on May 19, 2000, following two years of upgrades, including a newly designed, state-of-the-art forward cockpit. It’s cargo included more than 2,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to extend the lifetime of the Zarya module. During the mission, four of six batteries and associated electrical components were swapped to restore the electrical power system to full redundancy. This was the third shuttle flight for station assembly.

Launched July 12, 2000
Flight 1R

Zvezda Zvezda

Zvezda was launched July 12, 2000 and it forms the core of the Russian segment. The ISS performed an automatic rendezvous and docking with Zvezda, which provided living area, life support, navigation, propulsion and communications through the early assembly phases. It then will assumed most of Zarya’s functions.

Shuttle Mission STS-106

Launched Sept. 8, 2000
Flight 2A.2b


The International Space Station (ISS) is now in the view of the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis as evidenced in this electronic image. The last time astronauts saw the ISS, it was not sporting the recently-arriving Progress, which appears at the top in this perspective. Also, next to the Progress, appears the Zvezda service module, which had been delivered by a Proton rocket since the most recent human visit to ISS."

Atlantis returned to the ISS after the arrival of the Zvezda to provide additional supplies and serve as the first opportunity for astronauts and cosmonauts to enter the newest module after it became a permanent part of the station. Crewmembers not only unloaded supplies from the shuttle, but also from a recently docked Progress vehicle. The mission was launched on September 8, 2000.

Shuttle Mission STS-92

Launched Oct. 11, 2000
Flight 3A

ISS Docking ISS Docking

Discovery, carrying the first small piece of truss structure and the station’s gyroscopes, was launched on October 11, 2000. The Z1 truss (a piece of the girder-like truss), four Control Moment Gyros, and an additional conical docking adapter made up the cargo for this second major shuttle assembly mission. The framework housed critical electronics and communications equipment, and the gyroscope systems that eventually will replace thrusters to maintain the station's stability. The shuttle's robot arm was used to attach the framework and docking adapter. Next, astronauts will perform several spacewalks to make final connections.

Launched Oct. 31, 2000
On ISS Nov. 2, 2000
Flight 2R

Inside the Zvezda Service Module trainer/mockup

A view looking toward the hatch inside the Zvezda Service Module trainer/mockup at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia. This photo was taken prior to a training session with the Expedition 1 crew.

The Expedition One crew began the permanent human presence on the station on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000. Astronaut William Shepherd, and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev traveled to the station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Shepherd serves as the Expedition Commander, Gidzenko is the Soyuz Commander and Krikalev the Flight Engineer. They docked with the station two days after their launch on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2000 and begin a stay of about four months. Their mission will be to activate life support systems and experiments, while continuing stowage and checkout of the new station. They also will assist with the continuing assembly and conduct the first station-based spacewalks from Zvezda’s forward airlock. The first crew will return to Earth on a shuttle, leaving the Soyuz that launched them docked at the station as an emergency "lifeboat" for the next crew.

Shuttle Mission STS-97

Launched Nov. 30, 2000
Flight 4A

Solar Power Array Solar Power Array

The focus of Endeavour’s mission was to add the first pair of giant solar arrays and batteries to the station. It launched on November 30, 2000, and delivered the first of four pairs of solar energy grabbing arrays to dramatically increase the electricity available for use by future components and modules. That pair of solar arrays sets the stage for a major expansion of the station: arrival of the U.S. Destiny laboratory. The shuttle crew conducted 3 spacewalks to install and complete corrections of the solar arrays.

Shuttle Mission STS-98

Launched Feb. 7, 2001
Flight 5A


Atlantis’ flight to the ISS launched on February 7, 2001, to deliver the first scientific research laboratory. The U.S. Destiny laboratory is the centerpiece of future research activity on the International Space Station. Astronauts will use the shuttle’s robot arm to maneuver the new laboratory into position on the station. The installation was completed during three spacewalks to finish the installation.


Shuttle Mission STS-102

Launched March 8, 2001
Expedition Two crew
Flight 5A.1


Discovery’s launch on March 8, 2001 saw the orbiter dock with the station carrying interior supplies and equipment racks housed in a reusable Italian-built logistics module named Leonardo. The mission highlighted the first exchange of crews on the ISS with the Expedition One crew being replaced by the Expedition Two crew of Yuriy Usachev, Susan Helms and Jim Voss.

Shuttle Mission STS-100

Launched April 19, 2001
Flight 6A


Endeavour headed back to the ISS again on April 19, 2001 carrying Canada’s Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and the second of three reusable multi-purpose logistics modules supplied by Italy named Rafaello. The new station arm was attached during the mission while the Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) is attached to the station, unloaded and then returned to Earth. Rafaello holds equipment to finish the interior construction of the Destiny laboratory. The Canadian robotic arm will assist with most future assembly activities.

Shuttle Mission STS-104

Launched June 14, 2001
Flight 7A


Atlantis launched on June 14, 2001 to deliver the joint airlock to the International Space Station, which will enable station-based extravehicular activity (EVA) using both U.S. and Russian spacesuits. The addition of the airlock signals the completion of the early phase of station assembly in orbit, meaning the orbiting station has taken on a degree of self-sufficiency and capabilities for full-fledged research in the attached laboratory module. The final phase of assembly will continue into 2005 when the crew size will expand to seven.

Shuttle Mission STS-105

Launched Aug. 10, 2001
Expedition Three crew
Flight 7A.1

ISS 7A.1

STS-105, Space Shuttle Discovery launched on Aug. 10, 2001. While at the orbital outpost, the STS-105 crew delivered the Expedition Three crew, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, transferred supplies and equipment to the station, and completed two space walks. Returning to Earth on Discovery with the STS-105 crew were the Expedition Two crew and Leonardo. Expedition Two spent more than five months at the station. STS-105 was the 11th shuttle mission to visit the space station and the fifth shuttle flight of 2001.

Shuttle Mission STS-108

Tenative Launch Nov. 29, 2001
Expedition Four crew
Flight UF-1

STS-108, Endeavour, will be the 12th shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station and is slated to launch no earlier than Nov. 29, 2001. It will provide for research work by delivering experiment racks for the U.S. Laboratory and two storage racks. Endeavour will also arrive with the Expedition Four crew and return with the Expedition Three crew.

Japanese Laboratory, Kibo
Japanese Laboratory, Kibo

European Attached Pressurized Module
ESA Attached Pressurized Module

Russian Service Module
Russian Service Module

Other elements that will be added to complete the assembly are the Japanese Laboratory, Kibo (meaning Hope); the European Attached Pressurized Module; a Centrifuge; and a crew habitation module.


ISS Assembly complete 2005
Wingspan - 365 feet, 108 meters
Length- 262 feet, 80 meters
Mass - one million pounds, 454,000 kilograms
Crew size - up to seven
Laboratories - six

Credit: NASA JSC


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