STS-106: getting the place ready

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on the 99th shuttle mission, a 12-day visit to the still-unoccupied International Space Station. Spacewalks and work in the station’s pressurized compartments make the final connections between the Russian-launched Zvezda service module and the rest of the station, and over three tons of supplies – most flown aboard Atlantis, but some contained in an unmanned Progress supply ship which has already automatically docked to the station – are transferred to the station. Atlantis’ 21st crew is Commander Terrence Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman, and mission specialists Daniel Burbank, Edward Lu, Richard Mastracchio, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morokov. In 2003, Lu and Malenchenko will return as the station’s seventh full-time residents.