Soyuz TM-31 launches, heads for ISS, October 31, 2000

-October 31, 2016

Soyuz TM-31 was the first Soyuz spacecraft to dock with the ISS (International Space Station). It was launched from Kazakhstan on October 31, 2000, by a Soyuz-U rocket and carried a crew of three to dock with the Zvezda module of the ISS on November 2. The Progress M1-3 cargo craft that was docked with Zvezda was released to make way for the Soyuz.

The Expedition 1 crew comprised Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev and American William Shepherd. This first long-duration ISS crew remained aboard the station for 136 days, marking the beginning of an uninterrupted human presence on the ISS, which continues today.

The spacecraft served as the crew's lifeboat while docked to the ISS. In the initial days, the crew brought a variety of life-support systems on-line and created a laptop computer network that helped run all systems in the ISS. Several research activities took place during the mission, including measuring the crew's heart rates and the station's carbon-dioxide levels to determine the effect of exercise on the station. Major events during this time include three week-long Space Shuttle visits, which occurred in early December, mid-February, and at the end of the expedition in March.

The Expedition 1 crew were returned to Earth via a Space Shuttle during STS-102 in March 2001; the Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft stayed with the station for part of Expedition 2.

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Editor's note: This article was originally posted on October 31, 2012 and edited on October 31, 2016.

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