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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 12:16 GMT
Space station crews change over
Susan Helms AFP
Susan Helms was the last to move across
The new crew on the International Space Station (ISS) are ready to take up their posts.

Expedition Two, as they are known, have all now moved over to the orbiting platform from the Discovery shuttle that delivered them into space.

"We are very much looking forward to it. We're more like family than we are like a crew," said Susan Helms, the last replacement crew member to make the switch. "We are just going to have the time of our lives."

ISS AP
It is Bill Shepherd's ship until he leaves
Expedition Two is made up of Helms, astronaut Jim Voss and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. They are replacing Expedition One - Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev - who have been in orbit since November.

Though the crew transfer is complete, the official end of the Expedition One increment occurs on Saturday when Discovery departs the ISS. Until that point, Shepherd remains the official ISS commander.

For the returning Expedition One crewmates, their most important job between now and Discovery's landing next week is to exercise vigorously every day, preparing their bodies for a return to gravity after months of weightlessness.

Besides delivering the new crew, Discovery brought up an Italian-made module filled with 5 tonnes of equipment and supplies. Inside the space station, both crews have almost finished removing gear in the module, which was attached to the ISS on Monday. This includes the first experiments to be carried out in the Destiny laboratory. The experiments will study the effects of weightlessness on the human body.

"It's a wonderful place," Jim Voss said of the 1.4bn Destiny lab. "We're going to enjoy working in there."

Once emptied, Leonardo will be filled with rubbish and returned to Earth.

International Space Station

Analysis

Background

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See also:

11 Mar 01 | Science/Nature
10 Mar 01 | Science/Nature
08 Mar 01 | Science/Nature
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