Spaceflight Now: STS-97 Mission Report

Space Station Stage 4A

Welcome to Spaceflight Now's comprehensive coverage of the international space station, its first full-time crew and plans for the next shuttle assembly mission, flight STS-97/ISS-4A. NASA refers to STS-97 and the Expedition One crew's on-going work as "Stage 4A" in the space station assembly matrix. This page incorporates that approach. We will post data on upcoming shuttle assembly flights as each stage is completed. E-mail us your comments, suggestions and corrections!

Top Stories
Station crew awaits spare parts for air scrubber
The international space station's air purification system is working smoothly, NASA's lead flight director said Friday. But unexpected equipment failures during the crew's first six weeks in space have left the astronauts just one failure away from a possible forced evacuation.
   FULL STORY
Expedition One
Shuttle delay extends voyage of first station crew
The first expedition aboard international space station got a little longer on Wednesday when NASA announced a delay from February to March in launching space shuttle Discovery to ferry the three-man crew back to Earth.
   FULL STORY
Expedition One
Booster inspections keep shuttle Atlantis parked
Engineers began inspections of electrical cable connectors in the solid rocket boosters of space shuttle Atlantis on Tuesday in the wake of a problem during the launch of sistership Endeavour two weeks ago.
   FULL STORY
Atlantis
Endeavour returns to Earth with nighttime landing
The space shuttle Endeavour glided to a smooth Florida touchdown Monday evening just minutes after the international space station sailed overhead, closing out a successful flight to equip the outpost with the most powerful solar arrays ever launched.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR TOUCHES DOWN
   VIDEO: ONBOARD CAMERA VIEW OF LANDING
   VIDEO: LANDING IN INFRARED
   TODAY'S TIMELINE LEADING TO LANDING
   GROUND TRACKS
Landing
Atlantis rollout delayed for booster inspections
Rollout of shuttle Atlantis to pad 39A to ready the ship for launch next month will be delayed at least two days -- from Monday to Wednesday -- because of ongoing work to determine why an explosive booster separation bolt failed to fire during the Endeavour's launch Nov. 30.
   FULL STORY
Inside VAB
Endeavour undocks from space station Alpha
The Endeavour astronauts undocked from the international space station today, beaming back spectacular video showing Alpha's huge new solar arrays as it slowly pulled away. Mission accomplished, the shuttle crew is scheduled t6o land Monday at the Kennedy Space Center.
   FULL STORY
   VIDEO: UNDOCKING ANIMATION
Undock
Alpha crew says station workload improving
Learning from experience, U.S. and Russian flight planners are slowly zeroing in on more realistic schedules for the international space station's hard-working crew. But the commander says there's still plenty of room for improvement and in the meantime, patience is the watchword.
   FULL STORY
Shep
Endeavour crew boards the international space station
Following full navy tradition the space shuttle Endeavour astronauts boarded the international space station at 1436 GMT (9:36 a.m. EST). They are the first visitors to the complex since the arrival of the station's first crew just over a month ago.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Wing
Engineers assess shuttle booster problem
During launch of shuttle Endeavour November 30, one of two explosive cartridges used to separate a strut holding the base of the orbiter's left-side solid-fuel booster to the ship's external fuel tank failed to fire.
   FULL STORY
Launch
Spacewalkers fix space station's slack solar array
After four days of around-the-clock analysis, testing and planning on Earth, two astronauts working nine stories above the shuttle Endeavour have successfully repaired a loose solar array blanket on the international space station's $600 million power system.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live coverage
   EARLIER STORY
   AUDIO: REASON FOR REPAIR
   VIDEO: CREW LEARN OF TRICKY TASK
   SPACEWALK STATISTICS
Wing
Astronauts complete flawless spacewalk; set sights on array repair
Two spacewalkers connected the new P6 solar power tower to the international space station Tuesday. Engineers, meanwhile, are perfecting plans for a solar array repair job Thursday.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   SPACEWALK STATISTICS
EVA
Second space station solar array wing deployed
The astronauts aboard space shuttle Endeavour successfully extended the port solar array wing from the international space station Monday, completing a two-day effort to spread the new power-generating arrays for the orbiting complex. The starboard wing remains slack, however.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   EARLIER STORY
Wing
NASA engineers evaluate solar array problems
Two spacewalking astronauts bolted a $600 million solar power tower to the international space station Sunday and one of two huge solar wings was successfully unfurled after several false starts. But deployment of a second wing was put on hold after engineers determined the two solar cell blankets making up the first wing were not as taut as expected after the wing was fully extended.
   FULL STORY
   SPACEWALK PREVIEW STORY
   ANIMATION: TRUSS ASSEMBLY
   ANIMATION: ARRAY UNFURLS
   SPACEWALK STATISTICS
Spacewalk
Shuttle Endeavour docks with the space station
After a two-day orbital chase, the shuttle Endeavour's crew successfully linked up with the international space station today in a tricky, off-kilter maneuver that sets the stage for a spacewalk Sunday to attach a $600 million set of solar arrays to the space outpost.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   DOCKING PREVIEW
   DOCKING TIMELINE
   VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR DOCKS
   VIDEO: STATION'S VIEW OF ENDEAVOUR
   VIDEO: ANIMATION OF DOCKING
Station
Shuttle crew prepares for linkup with space station
The Endeavour astronauts closed in on the international space station Friday, checked out the ship's robot arm, inspected a $600 million set of solar arrays in the payload bay and tested the spacesuits two astronauts will wear during an excursion Sunday to attach the arrays to the orbital outpost. Docking is set for Saturday at 2:59 p.m. EST.
   FULL STORY
Payload bay
Progress cargo freighter undocks from station
An unmanned resupply ship undocked from the international space station Friday to make room for space shuttle Endeavour's planned Saturday afternoon arrival at the orbiting complex. The Progress cargo craft delivered two tons of supplies and equipment to the station. It will remain in space until officials decide on a possible redocking.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Undocking
Shuttle Endeavour launches on station mission
The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off Thursday night on a high-stakes mission to attach a $600 million set of solar arrays to the international space station that will make the outpost one of the brightest "stars" in the night sky. See the mission status center for continuous updates.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 30]
   PHOTO: WORKERS ON CRANE
   PHOTO: LOOSE BRACKET
launch
Shuttle Mission Preview
Daring high wire act to mount space station arrays
The shuttle Endeavour is poised for launch on a dramatic mission to attach a huge set of solar arrays on the international space station, a $600 million addition that will provide the power needed to finally begin scientific research. Read our six-part mission preview report.
   FULL REPORT [Posted: Nov. 24]
STS-97
Recent Stories
Communications remain a challenge for space station
Improving communications between U.S. and Russian flight controllers remains a major challenge for the international space station team as both sides struggle to iron out differences in operational philosophy, not to mention coping with a language barrier and the physical distance.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 28]
ISS
Endeavour astronauts fly to Cape, countdown begins
Space shuttle Endeavour's five-man crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center Monday afternoon and the launch team started the countdown just hours later in advance of Thursday night's blastoff to deliver a set of power-generating solar arrays to the international space station.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 27]
   COUNTDOWN EVENTS CHART
STS-97 astronauts
Cosmonaut docks cargo ship in dramatic fashion
The automatic guidance system of an unmanned Progress supply ship failed during final approach late Friday, forcing cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko to take over manual control for a dramatic, remotely piloted docking with the international space station.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 18]
   VIDEO: PROGRESS WILDLY GYRATES
ISS
Space station crew awaits arrival of cargo ship
NASA managers are holding open the option of delaying launch of the next space station assembly flight if the lab's on-board crew is unable to completely unload a Progress supply ship in time. The craft is due to dock at the station Friday night.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 16]
Crew
Russians launch supply ship to space station
An unmanned Progress spacecraft loaded with equipment and supplies for the international space station's three-man crew is on its way after an on-time launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 15]
Soyuz
Alpha crew completes first week in orbit
Keeping tabs on a solar flare sending sheets of radiation toward Earth, the Alpha astronauts Thursday completed their first full week aboard the international space station and set their sights on three well-earned days off after a grueling start to their four-month stay.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 9]
   VIDEO: STORM WARNING
Station
Earlier Coverage
Mission control to station: Bush wins... perhaps not
Like millions of his fellow Americans, space station commander Bill Shepherd was told early Wednesday that George W. Bush was his new President, only to learn hours later that the election was in fact too close to call.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 8]
   VIDEO: BUSH WINS
   VIDEO: MISSION CONTROL RETRACTS
Crew
Station crew complains of grueling schedule
Despite complaints by space station skipper William Shepherd early Friday about the crew's heavy workload, a senior NASA flight director says the schedule will improve within a week or so as equipment gets stored and critical life support systems are activated.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 3]
Shep
First residents arrive at international space station
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying the international space station's first full-time crew successfully docked with the orbital outpost early Thursday in a historic milestone in humanity's bid to establish a permanent foothold on the final frontier. Commander William Shepherd then promptly proposed naming the complex "Alpha."
   FULL STORY [Posted: Nov. 2]
   RUSSIAN ECONOMICS STILL A CONCERN
   VIDEO: SOYUZ DOCKS TO STATION
   VIDEO: SPACE STATION NAMED 'ALPHA'
Soyuz
Progress cargo freighter undocks from space station
The first Russian-made Progress supply delivery ship sent to the international space station undocked from the outpost Wednesday and reentered the atmosphere over the South Pacific Ocean. The craft spent three months attached to the station and ferried supplies and equipment for use by the Expedition One crew.
   VIDEO: PROGRESS UNDOCKS FROM STATION
Undocking
Vanguard crew heads for four-month stay in space
An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts blasted off early Tuesday from Kazakhstan and set off after the international space station for a docking Thursday to establish what NASA hopes will be a permanent foothold in space.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Oct. 31]
   VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS FOR PAD
Launch
Shuttle hauled to pad
The next space shuttle to visit the international space station was rolled from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B October 31 at Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour will deliver the first U.S. solar arrays to greatly increase the amount of power aboard the station. Liftoff is set for the late evening of November 30.
Rollout
Crew meets reporters for final pre-launch briefing
U.S. space station commander William Shepherd said Monday his biggest challenge during his crew's first few days aboard the international outpost will be keeping his two cosmonaut shipmates from working too hard.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Oct. 30]
Shepherd
Historic next step in human spaceflight comes Tuesday
Nearly 17 years after President Ronald Reagan first proposed building an international space station, an American commander and two Russian cosmonauts are finally poised for blastoff to become the first full-time occupants of what has become a $60 billion project.
   SPECIAL REPORT [Posted: Oct. 29]
ISS crew
Soyuz for first station crew rolls to launch pad
A Russian Soyuz booster that will carry the first space station crew to their new home on Tuesday has been rolled to the launch pad. The rocket began its journey through the cold mist at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7 a.m. local time on Sunday.
   VIDEO: ROCKET ROLLOUT
Soyuz
Related coverage
Building a space outpost
The crew of space shuttle Discovery carried out a complex four-spacewalk construction mission in October to mount a truss structure with gyroscopes and communications gear to the international space station and add another docking port.
   FULL COVERAGE
ISS
Zvezda module docks to space station
The international space station gently docked with the new Zvezda command module July 25 as the two spacecraft sailed high above Kazakstan, ending two years of delays and setting the stage for arrival of the lab's first permanent crew in November.
   FULL STORY
   LAUNCH REPORT
Docking
Status Summary
The Expedition One mission to the space station is being extended two weeks due to delays in launching the space shuttle to bring the three men home. Read story.

Endeavour landed at Kennedy Space Center right on time Monday at 6:03:25 p.m. EST (2303:25 GMT).


See the Status Center for full play-by-play coverage.

Recent updates

SUNDAY
09:40 AM
Orbit ops snapshot

Satellite tracking elements


WEDNESDAY
07:15 AM
STS-98 Quick-Look Data


100 shuttle launches
STS-96As NASA launched the 101st space shuttle flight on Thursday, we looked back to the past 20 years of blastoffs in a special gallery feature.

   FLIGHTS 1 TO 25

   FLIGHTS 26 TO 50

   FLIGHTS 51 TO 75

   FLIGHTS 76 TO 100

At a Glance
Mission 1: ISS-2R
Vehicle: Soyuz
Crew: Shepherd, Gidzenko and Krikalev
Launch date: Oct. 31, 2000
Launch time: 0753 GMT (2:53 a.m. EST)
Launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Return vehicle: Shuttle Discovery (STS-102)
Landing date: March 11, 2001
Landing site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Mission 2: ISS-4A (STS-97)
Vehicle: Shuttle Endeavour
Crew: Jett, Bloomfield, Tanner, Garneau, Noriega
Launch date: Nov. 30, 2000
Launch time: 10:06 p.m. EST (0306 GMT on 1st)
Launch site: LC-39B, KSC
Landing date: Dec. 11, 2000
Landing time: 6:04 p.m. EST (2304 GMT)
Landing site: SLF, KSC

Video vault
Commander Bill Shepherd and NASA Administrator Dan Goldin agree to name the international space station "Alpha" for the Exedition One crew.
  PLAY (605k, 1min30sec QuickTime file)
The Russian Soyuz capsule with the three-man Expedition One crew docks to the Zvezda module of the international space station.
  PLAY (275k, 47sec QuickTime file)
The Progress 1P cargo freighter undocks from the international space station after nearly three months attached to the outpost as seen by a camera mounted on the vessel.
  PLAY (300k, 1min02sec QuickTime file)
The Russian Soyuz rocket lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Expedition One crew.
  PLAY (299k, 44sec QuickTime file)
The three-man Expedition One crew departs quarters for the launch pad to board the Soyuz rocket.
  PLAY (289k, 17sec QuickTime file)
Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev undergoes a check of his spacesuit before heading to the launch pad for blastoff.
  PLAY (505k, 30sec QuickTime file)
The Soyuz rocket that will launch the Expedition One crew is transported from its assembly hangar to the launch pad on Oct. 29.
  PLAY (516k, 32sec QuickTime file)

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