STS -101 (English Space Transportation System) is the designation for a flight mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis ( OV- 104), NASA. The launch took place on 19 May 2000. It was the 98th Space Shuttle mission, the 21st flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the third flight of a shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS).


  • James Halsell ( fifth space flight), Commander
  • Scott Horowitz ( third space flight), Pilot
  • Jeffrey Williams ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Susan Helms (4th space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • James Voss ( fourth space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Mary Weber ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist
  • Yuri Usachyov ( third space flight ), Mission Specialist ( Roscosmos / Russia)

Mission Description

Main tasks of the Atlantis mission were maintenance, a spacewalk to mount a crane and the appropriate brackets and raising the trajectory of the International Space Station. The Atlantis also completed its first flight for a fundamental modernization.

A few hours after docking, first the withdrawal was executed. The astronauts Voss and Williams inspected and secured a first installed at the mission STS - 96 Crane ( orbital replacement unit transfer device) and completed the assembly of the Russian Strela crane on the inner coupling adapter of Unity. Then they exchanged a defective communication antenna and mounted 8 holders as well as a camera cable. The withdrawal lasted 6 hours and 44 minutes.

After the successful work in open space, the hatches were opened to the first station and air samples taken at different locations. Were also studied air circulation and the carbon dioxide concentration. To improve the air filter were changed and a plurality of air tubes routed reinforced and provided with a better sound absorption. Also 4 batteries were changed, charged and tested in the Zarya module at the five working days in the station. This also included the electronics that control the controlled charging and discharging of the batteries. Were changed on a rotational basis fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, cooling fans, and the storage unit of a radio - telemetry system. Under the supervision of Susan Helms more than 1000 kg payload were transported to the station. This included clothing, garbage bags, 4 -filled water container, a IMAX film camera, a treadmill, a stationary bike, tools and books. So that everything could be accommodated useful additional storage facilities were installed in the rear part of Zarya.

Three driving period ensured that the orbit of the ISS was increased by more than 40 kilometers. This means that the station was in the ideal position for coupling the housing and drive module Zvezda, which came in mid-July into orbit.

The shuttle few experiments have been performed during flight. For protein crystals for medical and analytical purposes were produced. Commercially obtained human alpha 2b interferon which is effective against hepatitis B and C as well as against melanoma, leukemia and Kaposi's sarcoma. As part of the protein Crystal Growth - Biotechnology Ambient Generic - Experiments ( PCG -BAG ), a total of 504 different samples enabled. The crystal-forming components were brought together only in zero gravity. After diluting the liquid and the crystal formation process evaporated began. The scientific research program was completed by an experiment in Astoculture glovebox. Here 1,000 soybean seed bacteria were exposed to the rs- GFP gene. This results in plants that incorporate the foreign gene in their genome. In weightlessness, this method works more efficiently than on Earth. Transgenic plants will be in the future not only more resistant to pests, but can also produce drugs.

One of the routine tasks of the STS -101 crew included studies on virus reactivation in weightlessness, the function of the immune system, the composition of the cabin air, and to navigate by GPS data. Such navigation systems are to be used both in the International Space Station as well as in the then planned rescue vehicle Crew Return Vehicle. In addition, a semiconductor sensor was tested with the larger objects can be captured in orbit (up to 22.6 minutes of arc ). The 100% successful flight was on 29 May with a night landing in Florida to end.