When the first crew to the ISS flew, had the station with today’s only little in common. The living and navigation module Zvezda, which translates to star, was only 13.1 m long with a maximum diameter of 4.15 m. The alien WG lived for 136 days almost without privacy in the cosmic Strait between computers and cables.
In the meantime have been added numerous research tools and living modules. The ISS now has a maximum expansion of 110 times 100 x 30 m. And thus offers plenty of room for the successor of the first crew, for example the German astronauts Alexander Gerst, or unusual experiments such as growing salad at all. By the way, so far astronaut Scott Kelly made worlwide record as longest remaining man on the space.
“Our mission was to make the space station operational”
Lunched expedition No. 1 on October 31, 2000 in a Soyuz TM-31-rocket and consisted of the American astronaut William Shepherd as a commander and two Russian cosmonauts Juri Gidsenko and Sergei Krikaljow. The Commander recalls: “our mission was to make the space station operational and this included to configure all systems which been placed in outer space. Those expansions were not operational at the time.
The first works of the ISS expedition 1 were activating vital systems such as water treatment, the kitchen and the toilet. A simple toilet is in the space to the complex act. Due to the missing gravity, the inhabitants of the space working group need to clamp her legs on the toilet. Vacuum sucks the excrement of the astronauts in a 20 liter container and then in a spacecraft. The space toilet cost around €14 million.
First experiment on the orbit was the plasma Crystal
In addition to all of the construction work, an experiment of German and Russian scientists remained but also some time to conduct an experiment in zero gravity. “Said plasma crystal – that was something like the first real science, which was carried out on the space station,” recalls Shepherd. “It a small container in gases and plasma produced photographed. Basic research is a scientific purpose of the space station, and that was the first time ever done.”
“At the beginning we do not particularly were close as a team”
The Commander remembers above all the team spirit of the first crew, which emerged in the course of the mission: “at the beginning we do not particularly were close as a team, but we have quickly realized in the course of the training that we are very compatible and we understand extremely well.
One thing that surprised me, as we flew into space, was that our sense, to work as a team together was getting stronger all the time, we were in orbit”, so Shepherd. “We had a really great expedition. When we have finished it, we were not sure if anything there in outer space, that we can do.”
Christmas was on the ISS celebrated. Home calls and family chats. The gifts of the Russian freighter had shortly before progress M1-4 to the ISS. It was also the feast: hydrogenated Turkey.