Expedition 2

Expedition 2

Expedition 2 was the second expedition to the International Space Station.


(1) number of spaceflights each crew member has completed, including this mission.

Mission parameters

Mission objectives

The second group of space explorers arrived at the International Space Station in March 2001. The three-member Expedition 2 crew successfully launched on March 8 2001 on Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-102. They officially began their four-month tour aboard the ISS on March 18 2001 and returned to Earth on mission STS-105, August 22 2001 after having spent 163 days aboard the station and 167 days in space. All Expedition 2 crew members were part of STS-101. Only Voss performed a spacewalk on STS-101, along with Jeffrey Williams.

During this expedition, research facilities launched to the Space Station included a Human Research Facility, two EXPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station) Racks, one of which contains the Active Rack Isolation System and the Payload Equipment Restraint System. Over the life of the Space Station, these facilities will support a wide range of experiments that could improve life on Earth and in space. They will also prepare the Destiny laboratory for experiments to be conducted.

A major focus was on gaining a better understanding of how to protect crew members from radiation while working and living in space. Radiation exposure in high doses over long periods of time can damage human cells and cause cancer or injury to the central nervous system.

There were four Space Shuttle and one Soyuz missions to the ISS during Expedition Two. They are:

The international crew of three consisted of Commander Yury V. Usachev, a Russian cosmonaut; Flight Engineer James S. Voss, a U.S. astronaut; and U.S. astronaut and Flight Engineer Susan J. Helms. As a part of the STS-102 Shuttle mission, Discovery delivered the Expedition Two crew to the ISS. During their stay, the crew saw the orbital outpost increase in size and become self-sufficient. August 13 2001 marked the end of the Expedition Two crew stay on the station.

STS-104 spacewalks

The STS-104 crew performed 3 spacewalks.

First spacewalk; Joint Airlock Installation

The first spacewalk focused on airlock installation. The spacewalkers helped as Susan Helms, using the station's robotic arm, lifted the new station airlock from Atlantis' payload bay and moved it to the station's Unity module. During much of the 5 hour, 59 minute spacewalk, Jim Reilly worked from a foot platform attached to the end of the shuttle's robotic arm, operated by Janet Kavandi. After the spacewalk, crewmembers inside the Station attached connections to the airlock to prevent thermal damage.

Second spacewalk

The second spacewalk lasted 6 hours, 29 minutes. The internal hatches between the shuttle and station were closed at the end of Flight Day 6 so Atlantis' cabin pressure could be lowered in preparation for the second spacewalk. The major objective was to attach and connect an oxygen and a nitrogen tank. Susan Helms operated the station arm to lift the tanks from the shuttle's payload bay and maneuver them to the new airlock. At the airlock, Mike Gernhardt and Jim Reilly latched the tanks in place and connect cables and hoses.

Third spacewalk

The third spacewalk was the first egress through the new Space Station airlock, and lasted 4 hours, 2 minutes. Primary objective was to install the final two tanks -- one oxygen and one nitrogen -- outside the airlock. This spacewalk tested a new protocol developed by former commercial diver Mike Gernhardt: essentially exercising while breathing oxygen to purge nitrogen from the spacewalkers' bodies.

Mission Patch

The International Space Station Expedition Two patch depicts the Space Station as it appeared during the time the second crew was on board. The Station flying over the Earth represents the overall reason for having a space station: to benefit the world through scientific research and international cooperation in space. The number 2 is for the second expedition and is enclosed in the Cyrillic MKS and Latin ISS which are the respective Russian and English abbreviations for the International Space Station. The United States and Russian flags show the nationalities of the crew indicating the joint nature of the program. When asked about the stars in the background, a crew spokesperson said they "...represent the thousands of space workers throughout the ISS partnership who have contributed to the successful construction of our International Space Station."

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