ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi



20 years of the ISS flying in manned mode

November 2, 2020

On November 2000 manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TM-31 docked with the Service Module Zvezda of the International Space Station (ISS). On that day, the international crew of the first expedition started their work in orbit, which ushered in 20 years of continuous operation of the ISS in manned mode.

The ISS-1 Expedition consisting of the commander William Shepherd, the spacecraft pilot Yuri Gidzenko, and flight engineer Sergei Krikalev lasted more than four month. During that period cosmonauts activated the basic onboard systems of modules Zarya, Zvezda and Unity, installed all the necessary equipment, put into service life support systems and systems for communication with the ground mission control centers, and also received two Russian resupply spacecraft Progress-M and three visiting missions of US Space Shuttles, during which the NASA Lab module Destiny joined the space station under construction. In addition to this a series of planned medical experiment was run to evaluate the acceptability of long-duration human stay in space. On March 21, 2001, the first crew of the ISS came back to Earth onboard US Space Shuttle Discovery, having fully completed the program of the initial phase of station preparation for manned mode operation during the next 20 years.

Since then the ISS has become the biggest international endeavor in Earth orbit the multi-purpose research facility consisting of 15 major modules, which is being constructed by State Corporation Roscosmos, and space agencies NASA (USA), ESA (Europe), JAXA (Japan) and CSA (Canada). Over the 20 years of manned operation, the station has been visited by 241 cosmonauts and astronauts from 19 nations, and the total number of spacewalks that have been completed amounts to 231. During that period there have been 62 missions of Russian manned spacecraft Soyuz and 74 missions of unmanned resupply spacecraft Progress, 34 missions of US Space Shuttles, five missions of the European resupply spacecraft ATV and nine missions of the Japanese resupply spacecraft HTV. Participating in the station resupply program since 2012-2013 have been commercial cargo spacecraft Dragon and Cygnus, and 2020 saw the launch of the commercial program of reusable crew spacecraft Crew Dragon.

The ISS provides a unique opportunity for carrying out science experiments in zero gravity, in vacuum, and under exposure to space radiation. During the entire period of manned missions under the Long-Term Program of the Applied Research and Experiments on the ISS Russian Segment (ISS RS), there have been completed more than 120 experiments in biomedicine and biotechnology, physical and chemical processes and materials science, studies of Earth and space, as well as a number of educational programs to popularize spaceflight.

RSC Energia, being the prime organization for development and operation of the ISS RS, provides expedition crews delivery and return, re-supply of the station with necessary cargoes and consumables, scientific equipment and propellant. Since 2015-2016, the ISS RS space transportation support is provided using manned spacecraft Soyuz MS and unmanned spacecraft of Progress MS, which employ the quick four-orbit and super-quick two-orbit rendezvous profiles successfully developed by RSC Energia specialists.





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