Expedition 1

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

HOUSTON, we have a podcast. Welcome to the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space. Center episode one, Sixty, eight expedition one I'm Gary Jordan and I'll be your host today on this podcast we bring in the experts scientists, engineers astronauts to let you know what's going on in the world of human spaceflight twenty years ago on November second, two, thousand, a crew of three space ferrers arrived at the International Space Station with the mission to bring the new orbital complex to life we call these missions expeditions and the crew was expedition one. The trio was NASA's William Shepherd Commander of Expedition One and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Zenko both seasoned veterans of long duration missions aboard the Russian space station Mir that was an orbit. These three spent a hundred and thirty six days aboard the Space Station and set the course for what would be an unbroken streak of human presence in space. We, like to tout. If you're at this point younger than twenty, you've never lived in a world where there haven't been humans in space at any given point in your life. To get to that point where human started inhabiting the Space Station was not an easy thing. So to tell the full story of Expedition One, we have William Shepherd goes by SHEP. He was a manager of the Space Station Program, a seasoned veteran and space and the commander of Expedition One to the station. We talk about what it took to get to expedition one, the mission itself and how the Space Station has grown into what it is today. So here we go expedition one with Bill Shepherd. Enjoy. County. Court. Chef thanks for coming on Houston we have a podcast today. Appreciate your time. Yeah. Happy to be with the all my all my friends at NASA. there. And I wanted to start with this. We're taking a snapshot here where we are twenty years past when you first arrived on the International Space Station and set the course for continuous human presence. What are your initial thoughts right off the bat of achieving this milestone? Well, I'm kind of amazed that between NASA and hall the International Partners that we frankly that we've got gun Many many people at the outset of the International Space Station program. decided it was mission impossible and it was never going to happen but The team has proved them wrong. Well, that's perfect. Well, let's take a deep dive then Feel like you're the perfect person to talk to about this, just just diving into exactly that what were those obstacles that made it seem like mission impossible. So let's start with the landscape of of NASA and international partnerships in the early ninety s when we were just kind of getting the International Space Station program and the thought of what would be the international space station up and running. Well, the idea for space station is not at all new. certainly even before world. War Two people were talking about. Humans traveling in space and what we would do there And I think von Braun had many sketches There Are Walt Disney shows on rockets going to space stations, but really it got off the ground if you will. both in the US and in the Soviet Union with manned laboratories we had skylab. And then the Russians had a number of sal, you space stations, and then eventually one that they called Mir President Reagan. Started Space Station. Freedom. and. This was in the early in the middle of the eighties. And by Nineteen Ninety two. the administration's had changed and The problem was that NASA had spent almost eleven billion dollars on space station freedom. and. It had taken Eight years in not one pound of flight hardware was to show for it, and so congress was really upset. With the Space Agency, and was getting ready to cancel the program. So really ISS. International Space Station Program. Was a big change that that pulled the iron out of the fire and reorganized things and. That's Cata Pass that we started on twenty years ago, and that's where we are today. Well, let's talk about some of those original plans you mentioned space station freedom. There are a number of other space stations. That were actually flying at that time Mir included Let's take a dive into the shuttle program and the original plans for shuttle. As a as a vehicle to construct things like space stations. All NASA space shuttle was actually something the NASA promoting even before the end of. The Apollo Missions I think John Young was on the moon talking about. What a great thing a space shuttle would be an encouraging. The politicians to support it. but one of the purposes of the shuttle was to be able to build large things in or orbit. So besides carrying astronauts space and doing experiments and ev as in robotics and whatnot. One of the main reasons why we needed a space shuttle was so we can build big stuff in orbit and It was kind of in competition with the Russians. Didn't know what the Russians were GonNa do they eventually built their own? space shuttle and flew one time. But that was the landscape and I think You know to me There was a lot of celebration and ceremony around the retiring the shuttles and the ones that got transported to the museums. But for me that was really sad. Stories of days because this was the end of. at least United States astronauts. Flying into space and coming back in a vehicle that had wings on it that could land like an airplane I I still think that's a tremendous capability and we've pretty much given that up. And and think about what it accomplished. You know even even before the International Space Station launched its first element we did have. Cooperation with this space station that you're talking about Mir the Russian space station where we had. An opportunity to work together with. Russia doing the shuttle Mir program and not only using the shuttle but also understanding the operations I guess behind long duration spaceflight on Mir. If you look back, even President Kennedy in the earliest days of. Our human spaceflight effort talked about. The political and diplomatic benefit of working with the Soviets on space. And Apollo Soyuz in nineteen seventy five was a result of that and It took us a while after that another two decades to really get. close to the Russian Federation and work together on space. Station. But. I think it's a very healthy thing for NASA for the country to be doing. We'll talk about those years I think around this time you were the International Space Station Program Manager You had a lot of oversight into you know this cooperation us and Russia to go from this idea of freedom International Space Station or space station freedom to this Cooperative International Space Station can you talk about some of those years? Well my original. Assignment from. The national administrator was to be on A. Basically. Study team that would look at what is the What, what's The executability? If you will the freedom program and if if it needed to look like something else what would that be? And I had I was a member of about ten men team and we studied that for about a month. And made recommendations. This was all Being driven by directives from the Clinton administration to figure out. What what was Nastase Future with the freedom program and and what were they going to do After the draft this study was over then I was the program manager basically handling several changes to what NASA was doing was. We were bringing the Russian Federation hint to the International. Space Station Partnership, which is a big deal the partnership had been formed. about six years earlier by international agreements. With the Canadian Space Agency, the European, Space Agency and the there are other involvements with the. There is some involvement with the Italian aerospace industry B- That group was already up and running and was initially very opposed to bring yet another partner end because in part. This would diminish everybody's availability for astronauts and research time on space electrical power, and you know all of those things that you've got to do to have a collaborative expedition or environment in orbit. So there was a lot of negativity Among the established partners to bring the Russians in. the Russians themselves. Were very difficult to deal with And that because they are or were bad people, but you have to look at space from a Russian standpoint. They launched the first satellite into space. And the first man to fly in space the first woman to fly in space they did the first facebook. They were the first to look at the back side of the. Moon. And there were quite a number of. Technological I if the Russians claim and they. To their from their point of view that they looked at the United States US Americans is coming in behind. their successes and trying to take some of the credit for it and I. Think There's some merit to that I. Mean we certainly. Approach doing space from from different directions. Technically but Russians are very proud. They've got a very strong legacy in the early days of. Humans. In space and I think initially, we did not the the Americans in particular. we did not respect that or appreciate that maybe as. As strongly, as we might assume, that was you know getting that getting behind that passed that was a big deal. In addition, there several of the things that were happening one was that budget for the. Space Station it was going to be called at that time. was quite constrained The design of freedom had to be changed. For a number of reasons, it was too expensive. The assembly of the components had a lot of risk in it that we wanted to take out. We had Russian components that we had to. Integrate With this partnership that we had to manage and we had a complete. Restructuring of the Space Station program on the US side altogether NASA had ridden. Four prime contracts to various companies. In the United States to carry out freedom. And this was in the process of being condensed to a single prime contract. some of the contractors were not going to. Maintain the work content that they had originally won in the previous contract they're unhappy about that. And in addition Space Station program was going to be headquartered at one particular place in the country and there was a lot of. Arm Wrestling about where and which. Center or entity what's going to be in charge of that and ended up being Houston I was very happy about that because I was living in Houston but. these are some of the dynamics were going on at the time. Very respected Japanese partner who was In a lot of these discussions of the. Initial space. Station, partnership came up to me one day and he said Shop This is nineteen ninety early nineteen ninety-three. He said Shep You guys are doing your sixth redesign of the space station. You're changing the contract around you chopping pieces of the hardware off you're running short on money and you're. Changing the contract all around and you're moving headquarters to Houston. I don't think you're GONNA make it. And that was that was preseason guy and that was his expert opinion in the middle of Nineteen ninety-three and so I didn't say anything to him. I didn't want to be disrespectful but. I thought to myself I thought you know we've got. A real legacy of of how to do hard things at NASA. They've got a great team working on this and Just stand by we're going to show you that this can get done. Shed there seems to be just. Insurmountable odds against actually making this thing work. So how how did you navigate through all of these obstacles? What? How did you integrate with the international park partners with Russia to actually make the international? Space. Station. Become a thing. I don't think it's a simple answer. I think a lot of people. Own Parts of that story I I do think that One of things that it was really important was I stepped down from being a program manager 'cause I. The program manager has over splutter responsibilities to do A lot of the congressional liaison keep the funding for the program headed in the right direction. hand holding for a lot of. Higher Level forums, and I wanted to do the more focused on the technical work. So I was like what took on the role as a deputy program manager to do that? But That said. We started having pretty aggressive exchanges. Groups of people in Moscow talking to our Russian counterparts and having Russians in Houston and I think that was really the thing that made The. International Space Station? Program go. The, Russians. Came in Pan certainly did things differently than what we did. But but in the end The design and how was implemented. Added a Lotta Capability to the station and I'm probably jumping ahead. We can talk about this later in the podcast. But nobody at the time realized that how important having? multiple countries, multiple launch assets that could. Support, the station in orbit and had. Particularly, the the Columbia. Disaster we would not have a space station if the Russians were not able to fly crews and material up to the ISS and I I, I. Don't think we specifically foresaw that in nineteen ninety-three. But the fact that many countries. The Europeans the Japanese and the Russians in particular could have an opportunity to launch to the station on their own. That was a big part of our design. So Oh Station has. Even as a program, it had a lot of moving parts it's hard to. Cover it all you know in a short discussion. Well we can. We can zoom in on on hardware because I think one of the things you mentioned with some of the early years is we were doing a lot of studies on on designing what would be a space station, but never had any hardware to show for it so. During the space station, there were that there was that development process of the initial hardware of the international space. Station. I know there's there's components like to. Those Aria was a joint effort How about some of those those early space station, hardware, designs, and processes But I think you have to back up one step and think about his there a culture or philosophy that says. not only what you design, but y you design it the way you do, and that was really the most interesting thing to me our. Previous. Freedom. design. was dependent. On. Some Hurley Assembly flights were we didn't have a lot of Cooling. Communications Electric Power. Other capability and gradually the station build out in those utilities if you will. became more robust, but several of the aspects of this support. To keep the station alive. had. If you will allow technical risks that they were gonNA survive. The period before we had redundancy. The Russians on the other hand designed. smaller. Modules they weren't in essence all. Up. Vehicles. And when they launched it, it had life support in had environmental control. It had fire suppression detect computers. And radios, it had solar-powered had thermal control had docking mechanisms all that stuff. So The analogy would be to. Having a house that you're building in the United States or the US side of the partnership. We lay the foundation and we'd get the the studs in. And frame everything out put the roof on and. Months into the construction you might have a place. You could roll out a cot. Sleep. And the the Russian approach was. Cleared the driveway and pull the winnebago up and you know open the door and those are two really different approaches to doing. you know human capable facilities in orbit. And I think there's a lot of merit to their Russian approach frankly. is maybe a bit simpler so. I guess around this time, you talked about stepping down from program manager at what point did you start gearing up for training for what would be the first expedition? Nine hundred ninety six the first crew. It was determined by. The program management talking to the space agencies in the various countries. that. At that time this summer of ninety six, the launch was supposed to be nineteen, Ninety, eight somewhere. In everybody was assuming that the training was going to be a year and a half or so maybe a little bit longer and that was historical reference from what it would take the train shuttle crews and what the Russians normally would do for their Soyuz training. So midnight nineteen, Ninety six, it was decided that naming a crew to go to the station would basically start driving. The the training folks to get their training mature. And know get started with crew training. So we got named They WANNA was. Believed was sometime in the fall of nineteen, ninety six. And we started our training essentially that winter. And it turned out that due to delays and hardware launch schedules. The crew did not ended up flying until almost the end of two thousand. So our training flow was About four years plus a little bit about twice what we had originally intended. Very. Tedious If you're training but you don't know when you're GONNA fly it's somewhat akin to crawling over broken glass once in a while but But we all understood that this was a developmental thing and nothing was going to be perfect and If I can say patients had to be somewhat of a virtue. I did have the pleasure of having Kathy Bolt on this podcast to talk about training and how it's evolved over time and she did mention training the expedition one crew, and one of the things she mentioned when you talked about being tedious one of the things you mentioned was There was this idea to train you to the system level to train you to know the whole International Space Station inside, and now how to switch all the buttons and and how everything worked in that training evolved over time because to a more general. Approach since the space station for the most part could be controlled from the ground. Did you did you find that some of those some of that tedious training was just knowing like every system on the space station inside out. Well I I WANNA commend. Kathy and all the people who worked on expedition one in particular. Did a great job training. But I think the reality that was Not. The. Easiest critic to train and that. Was True for a couple of reasons one was. particularly, Sergei curricula who was a enter engineer and he was basically our flight engineer on board. Both he and I had been in Italy involved in mirror to and all the nuts and bolts of the US side of the. ISS program so we knew a lot about the hardware. And so. The other thing was we knew when we flew. That although the the ideal case was the ground could do everything the reality was that they were not going to be able to. because. Particularly really in our flay. We only had direct communications line of sight. From the to the ground, and we had to have a ground station relay. Hold the calm to Houston or Moscow. So this meant that her coverage was not gonna be anything like. What we have now on ISS or what we were used to. On spatial with the tedious relay satellite. So we had periods we were GONNA have periods on it. Sometimes four to six hours long. Where we weren't talking anybody and nobody on the ground could see what was happening on. ICS. So with that in mind you got to step back and say, well, am I going to wait for the ground? Tell me what to do when something Something big is up for my going to figure out. What I have to do the interim and Try and you know prevent it from getting worse or fix it make it better. So we were pretty hard over that. The right way for us to train has the first crew in probably the early crews up there was to know as much as we could about everything because the chances were good then in a big crunch up there. We were going to be on her own. That's that's why we did. Very very critical thing to to be able to do for sure I wanna take a step back. And Zoom in on the fact that this is the first expedition, which means you are going to be up in space for much longer than some previous previous shuttle missions. So Expedition One was one hundred and thirty six days. Let's take a step back to your shuttle missions and talk about what they were like, and then how that compared to expedition one you have three listed for U. S. T. S. twenty-seven forty one and fifty to your experiences on those. Well they're all different flights. Twenty seven, forty, one, we're we're, pretty, short. up and down flights. Twenty seven high inclination permitted defense mission. The idea was to launch. swing the orbit around two fifty, seven degrees inclination fifty, seven degrees. And then as soon as we're ready put an object out into orbit and check it out and come back home. So. It was a great mission but. Almost stay up by the time you are. Really accustomed to where to look to see the ground and what the food was going to be like you were getting ready to land and come home sorta. The same thing on us he has forty one our big mission there was a planetary probe. built by the Europeans called Ulysses. that was A. Launch. Ulysses pretty interesting object at Carry the. Inertial upper stages and went to a trajectory that Senate over the back of Jupiter. And did that to give it an adjustment to its orbital inclination where it would fly. down in the Southern Hemisphere of the. Solar system and fly over the South Pole the sun. but again, Short mission up and down in a couple of days. Has It's fifty to launch day. Laser reflector satellite, but did about a week and a half of materials experiments, but that was pretty much it. So in contrast. To Russian crewmates Sergei in particular at spent a year. In, orbit on the Mir he was the. The Soviet cosmonaut who launched and came down a year later without a country because in the meantime. The Soviet Union had gone away and the Russian Federation than setup. So in your had experience on the mirror as well. So My Position has a low time flyer was not something that the Russians were particularly happy with. Well, then let let's talk about expedition one nine. Let's let's Let's zoom in on the training there I. Think what's one of the major differences is the vehicle that's GonNa take you to and from orbit all of your previous flights were on the space shuttle. Now, you're getting ready to learn everything about the Russian Soyuz. The Russians. Have had the Soyuz spacecraft since the sixties. And they had a legacy of training quite a number of foreign cosmonauts or astronauts from different countries has guests to ride on the Soyuz. So the mode of their training was that the Americans that showed up to work on space. Station. Where is it or there was started? On, a training floor that. Basically. saw them as guest cosmonauts. And we had a big problem with that because we said look we're going to be up there. We're not going to be in contact with the ground all the time limited number of crew and we've got a no no way What happens when this button doesn't work but maybe Y is something is. Impeding it or what's behind the bandler? What's going on at this thing needs to know or do to make it work and this is not really a Russian. Train their cosmonauts. But we said Hey This is a new ballgame and this is the way we wanna do it and. After many many battles with the training staff and The program managers we we? Made that happen and so You know big thing about training and Russia and for the Soyuz in particular was. All the Russian training. Wasn't Russian. We had lesson plans that were translated to English, and we initially started down the road saying, okay, we can. Sit there and with an interpreter looking at the translated script for the training, we can get what we need to get but. Soon became obvious. So we need to be really proficient in Russian so. Everybody from the US side that was training for Isis in Russia learned Russian and it had some other benefit and the big one was. Many of the people who were in the training flow as instructors had involvement in the Russian space program that went back. Ten Twenty thirty years. There were people there who had worked on sputnik and who had trained Erie Garin, and so these people were walking encyclopedias for. How the Russians did things and I thought you know I could talk to these people with interpreters but I really, WANNA. Know what they're thinking about why they're doing something a certain way I have to be able to talk to him in Russian. So that's what we did and it was not an easy part of training but it was necessary I think in hindsight I think everybody's really glad. That we were able to do that because it gave us a necessary insight into. How this other space entity? Works and thinks. And it's very interesting because all the astronauts I talked to today right before their launches. And I'm talking in the past couple of years. They always talk about you know Russian training. We're still doing it that a lot of them say it is one of the harder parts about training a lot of them with tech backgrounds able to understand that a little bit easier than maybe the Russian language. But still a very valuable part of what it is to be an expedition astronaut even today. One of the things that came out of that before we leave the language issue. It made me think of. How would I approach this? If, I was Japanese or if I was an Italian or The many other countries that want to be involved with helping to crew the station and I'm going you know for somebody who's Who doesn't have English or Russians the first language? It's it's double heart and I'm going. There's got to be a way that we can bridge that. With controls and displays and training material diagrams explain if you will what the crew has to deal with in such a way that. The need for complete. Textual understanding and what you're doing is reduced. and. So we created a graphic environment that's used on the ground using training us on displays on the space station. and today is is really part of how station is operated. And it was designed at the time to be. Somewhat. Universal. So people ask me. Once in a while they say shop well. One Hundred Years from now what do you? What do you think people will remember about the International Space Station? I say well. If. We're if we're really lucky they will. They will remember having heard the name but not much else about it. But I think one thing that will endure is this approach to having multinational crews who have to travel in space and do pretty complex things. This. kind of human interface is something that I think we started. I think it's GonNa last for a long time. Sarah Cool I wanna I wanNA jump over to. Your expedition and talk about the journey there. Because because now we're here twenty years later from from when you were getting ready. To launch. Talk about your experience I guess after training in biking or preparing for, launch. Well I would say it's not too different than what the US and American astronauts do between Houston and the Cape and the shuttle launches. you go down to bike and you're about three weeks before your launch for a practice countdown. And then. About five days before you fly, you show up again you know final checks and vehicle. The castle gets me to the booster rocket that goes out to the PAD. And then the launch countdown starts and. Morning of October thirty first get up early in the morning. Get a bite to eat. jumping the bus, go down to the Assembly area where we getting space suits and get those checked out. Take the bus out to the pad and get on the rockets so that That whole process was. I wouldn't say it's familiar but the the sequence and the steps involved were were very understandable to the Americans their I'd say the only difference really was. The Russians had set the the launch date and the liftoff time. About Four months in advance three or four months in advance. And that did not change. So we got out biking. kind of on the high desert very flat terrain almost no vegetation. This is. The middle of the fall you get up early in the morning and it's kind of kind of misty and foggy, and then the fog Kinda glisten a little bit. But at ten thirty in the morning, there was still about two hundred foot ceiling means you go two hundred feet up and you're up in the clouds nobody can see what's going on. The. Russians push the button lit the fuse. We launched boom up into the clouds away we went. Shuttle never would have flown in those conditions so You know that. I I think that says a lot about differences in how the to space cultures operate. Now about that right in the Soyuz. That was your first launch on a Soyuz vehicle. How did that compare shuttle? Nothing really bad. Say about it. I, think there's a lot of goodness in the vehicle and the castle itself there abort regimes. Where you can stop doing what you're doing and get to a safe place. They're they're really pretty good. the rocket itself I think when we flew. Soya's which is also called the booster rocket the Soyuz launcher. Had Been to the pad that we flew on and they had four, hundred, sixty one. Successful launches without a failure. or at least a fair threatened the crew and you know those are pretty good numbers and so Despite the fact that the inside of the vehicles extremely cramped. The couches are quite uncomfortable. The suits are obtained the but essentially new. -Absolutely. But you gotta ask yourself do you want do you what comfort or do you want robustness and reliability? I think for most people? That's an easy choice. That's right now was a longer journey I guess compared to what we're seeing nowadays with A. Six hour rendezvous you're were orbiting the earth for two days before actually rendezvous with the International Space Station and finally getting ready to enter. Can you describe that journey? That was historically how the Russians plan there. Launch. Dynamics. If you will we were launching in the plane of the station. But well behind it and below it in every route that we go around because we're we're. Circling they're somewhat faster were gradually catching up when we get within striking distance the last day we do little little burn. Zip Up to the station and doc I, think that was a consequence of. The the ability of the Russians to have really good knowledge. Of were the Soyuz vehicle was and where the target vehicle was and what the potential errors could be. And so Driving around in orbit to do docking burns up a fair amount of fuel. You only have so much. So I think they were. Initially, very conservative about how they plan their flights. up until about maybe six years ago. that was the way they did it but then they started doing rapid rendezvous within four to six hours to catching up. It's just a little different play. it. It takes more precision, but somehow the Russians were able to change that. Now. When you actually docked to the International Space Station, this was going to be the first I. Guess A. Term Crew you had yet stf eighty eight before that visit the International Space Station but what were some of those things you had to do to get the space station ready for continuous human habitation? Well the docking was automatic was controlled by Mission Control Moscow I'm sure that. People have seen the videotapes of the down link and all that we drive into a docking cone. And In, once we get the hook. So the probe in the right spot in the cone couples which get flipped and the to. rings of the spacecraft get made it together and sealed So We open the hatch we check the pressure everything's good open the hatch One of my first job was to sample the. Composition the atmosphere make sure nothing toxic was in there. in surrogate were running around with checklists. There was stuff that they had to do, but I guess the biggest. Panic if you will that we had on our First Day docked was. We alive precedent that was scheduled for. About, three or four at the end of our day, but three or four hours after we had docked. and. It required getting a television camera out getting some lights wearing everything up during everything on. Assembling in the service module looking at the camera and then doing live down like to Moscow and we could not find. The cord that we needed to hook the camera. To the port where it was going to be on the radio system just frantic for. About an hour looking for the Dang thing and we finally got it. Done but that was that was pressure. Well. You know you talked about going through the hatch and getting everything prepared. But what was going through my mind is actually entering through the hatch now I know. Today we see Cruz being welcomed by crew members that are already on board station since we do have continuous presence but you being the Ones on board to start this continuous presence. Did you do anything special any sort of ceremony? Any any words even just between each other to really recognize that moment of entering the station for the first time Not, really. We did ask we were on the phone with Mr Cop Taboos head of the Russian Space Agency and Mr Goldman who was a necessary administrator they're both in mission control in Moscow. And each Each Russian crew that flew on a stage, the space station. Had Had their own call sign and it was generally one that stayed with various astronauts cosmonauts rather during their career. So. One astronaut would they're usually astronomical names like Mars or mercury or something like that? And you're it gets Inca who was the. Commander if you will for the the Soyuz capsule. His Russian. Call sign was Iran. and. One of the choices was going to be that during the mission, our expedition was going to be referred to as Iran. And your would be Iran one and circe would be who run to and I was probably going to be run three. And I did not like that for a couple reasons. So we kind of jumped the gun. and asked if we could use the radio call. Sign, Alpha. Space Station Alpha. And the the ground was Kinda apoplectic they said, okay for the President Radio Call Sign we'll call you that and That was a little bit of hubbub about that, and I think that that finally went away six or eight missions later, but people don't realize that. Not, all words in English translate well into Russian, and the same thing is true with the Russian words. To English and Ron Is the name of the planet Uranus, and so I saw that as probably public relations minefield that we didn't want to go in. Well. Let's talk about the. You're the first expedition. So I keep relating to the space station as I. Know it today, we're in a period of utilization the the mission is research. But I'm sure in the early years, your mission was getting station ready for research and getting it. There's Assembly efforts. Especially in the beginning years, and of course, you had to activate the space station get ready for future crews. Can you talk about some of your mission objectives in your multi-month stay? Exactly that we had initial work to. Get the oxygen generation system of the bigger tissue was the carbon dioxide removal system that. That had some hiccups getting started We had a number of systems that did not cower up correctly. Some of them had components that we're inoperable or one in particular multi ten connector pins were but. The work that we had for expedition one was troubleshooting all that and inserting tabby into slot B. will and we were all very hands on guys, and that's what we thought. We were GONNA be doing on orbit. We're very happy to be in orbit doing all that because that's what we trained for. So that was a really rewarding part of The I certainly the first half of our expedition I gotta say one thing about that. we we were told, and at least three times a day I can remember. Where we had come in and that particular piece of hardware was not functional or something is broken or wasn't working the way it was supposed to. And we say, okay fine what what's the grounds plan to fix this? And the Capcom would say, okay space station. We'll get back to you on that in about a day. Later, we'd get the read from the ground and they would say well, we've got that got the plan to fix. Whatever that thing is it's broken in and we said, okay, Great. What is it and they said, well, we're sending up spare as we said, great. When are they going to get here? She was. Six months after you guys leave and we said Whoa. So In all those cases that I can remember. after a couple of days, we have a discussion with Moscow or Houston and the discussion would be. Hey we see that console or that component it's up and running now can you can you give us Any words on what's going on and we would say look, we spent the last three days Sharon that thing apart at night trying to figure out why it wouldn't work and fixing it. And the ground would say, well, where did you get the procedure to do that and where did you get the spare parts where where'd you get the tools or you know who told you? You could do that? And we said, Hey, well, we figured we couldn't make it any worse. So we try to fix it and we did. And, we could break it again if you guys want to break it and. Say No no, just just keep running. and. The thing about that was with we were constantly. Going back and forth with the ground on. Essentially what the capability of the crew was. And I it Kinda got down to. Try not to be too restrictive. You know let us do some thinking about what we can and can't do. Try Not to get ahead of us on this and I. Think. That's Probably. Not something they do a Lotta Today on station 'cause it's so mature but. When we go back to the moon I'll guarantee it's going to be doing an awful lot of that in the question is, how do we learn? Where and how to be able to do that without making things worse and that's one of the big questions for the future we've got to have people who have the mindset. Yeah that that mindset of autonomy I know I know definitely talked about. Not only for the moon which I'm sure it will be implemented but from Mars whenever just like you had experienced on expedition one where you had several hours of communication gaps there's going to be significant communications delays for Mars mission, and so that level of autonomy and the crew being able to solve problems real time. Without the help of the of the ground is absolutely. Something to consider. What I think. If there's one comment that I would have. I have not seen enough of that. Thinking if you will on how NASA is planning to go back to the moon I think maybe don't need it for the moon. for the outset to do lunar exploration but we certainly need to be good at it when we start talking about going to Mars and practicing that on a moon mission is the way to go. Zooming back to expedition one for just a second. You talked about some of your mission objectives but I'm I'm curious about life As I mentioned before the station and as I know it today very big lots of space lots of lots of food, lots of things to do exercise equipment. And they've been doing it for twenty years. So it's it's It's very much routine. But what was life like four the first long duration crew aboard this? Spacecraft. Well it. It. It had a routine to which we liked Initially. We really constrained because we can only get in service module that gradually as we were able to add more power and open the note up, we got the lab brought on board. It got to be really expensive and life got pretty good because. You know we had a routine we marched through the day and. Things were really good I've gotta say that One of the things that a couple of things really surprised me though. One was. I was in the middle of the service module. We got the note opened up were running around doing something mill the day. Late morning and I'm. Gliding over the viewpoint and service module, which is facing nadir looking down the earth. And we're going over the mouth of the Mediterranean straight-set Gibraltar and this is. The third time, maybe that morning that we had been in that neck of the earth. Since we woke up and I looked over two year who was over by the Galley where all the food is. I said, we have any more coffee over there. And he was rifling through the coffee packs to see what was there and I thought about it and I said, you know. I. I'm looking at the most fantastic view probably anybody ever has at this moment on the planet, and all I can think about is you know, is there another cup of coffee in the Galley? And it struck me. How normal. Being in this really abnormal situation had become an on going. Wow. This is really surprising. I saw that A lot on our flight and I've seen many crews after us in their on-orbit discussions and their debrief. Exactly. The same thing. It's incredible. How adaptive? Humans are and how quickly these completely bizarre. Circumstances become routine. Now I hear that all the time just how how this life on board becomes routine. And and just you know this view, you see it because you're circling the earth. Sixteen Times a day so it so it does become very regular thing. Still you know amazing to think about from from here on the ground especially for those of us who have not had that view. But just. Just an appreciation for for the ability to adapt. As you're saying, you know the space should now I as I said, can you not only do you get used to it but you you have You have so many amenities I guess on the station. Now you have you, you have your own place to sleep. You have you have a sort of a dinner table where everybody can get together and eat off of the same dinner table. What was what were some of those elements of life on station with only three modules? Where were you sleeping? Where were you? Where were you eating together? Didn't seem like you had a lot of room to spare. Well. Surrogate and I were in the service module. Sleep quarters little rooms in the back end of A. Service Magic Yuri had eary's. He chose to bunk out I in the Soyuz he slept in his Soyuz couch, which was kind of his command chair You're in zero gravity as long as you're not banging into stuff, it really doesn't matter where he asleep because your body position is is kind of this slightly contracted relaxed position. Both Sergei and I had these little sleeping bags you kind of Zip yourself up in it. So you're not banging around but quite comfortable. You already had a seatbelt. He put that on the way we went we did not have a kitchen table. and. This was a big issue with ground because we thought we were told we trained and we thought we come up and we'd find the kitchen table in a bag or a box or something we talked to the ground after we can buy a couple days after we can't on said Hey soup the Russian. Center was Where's our kitchen table I said well, we we left off the flight because we had Stojan weight problems and we'll send it up to you and we said, okay fine. When's it can show up and again it was Oh yeah. Six months after you guys get there. So for about. Three weeks. We had a stealth project and we took. Parts off of if they if you will shipping containers came up in the Progress cargo ship. They were these aluminum racks and bars. And we build our own kitchen table out of scrap and again the ground went nuts but. Not to be a very workable arrangement second expedition accused liked it a lot and I thought. Actually from a design standpoint because it was a little bit smaller than the big kitchen table that was originally designed that it was a little more workable wasn't in a way as much but. That got D- manifested win the Big Table came up and I think that. That piece of hardware is in the museum somewhere. But again it's it's A. It's a question of letting the cruise kind of a gap to their own space. To build on that a little bit more. Every crew. I've seen on station. That? Get to the point where they. See themselves in an environment. That's really not part of the earth anymore at least for a couple months and that's a really important kind of mental construct has to how astronauts see themselves in relation to her. Now you mentioned you when you were talking to the ground, you said Oh that's not gonna come for six months was that the arrival of the one Oh to crew the the space shuttle that arrived and what else did they bring? Well. Actually the table came after the one or two crew. So I think the six months might the table showing up might have been the at the end of their expedition but? One or two brought up the. MP L. The The. Italian logistics module that Italian Space Agency was providing and That was also Susan Helms Tim Vass, and commander Yuri USA Jeff, and we spent a week with them on orbit. people outside Hook and stuff up and then Jim and Susan I. Guess It'd spacewalk or two. And then When we do these docked events with a shuttle because of the. Reduced. Pressure. That's the shuttle has to be at for the as we generally have the hatches closed. So it's. Shuttle Docks. You have some initial meeting grade than a couple of days of hatches closed and we open the hatches up on the as or done so. If, very hectic time lot of running around moving. Bags and cargo. Get any MP L. M. A.. But It was great to see. All these people that we had worked and trained with for years, and now they're up on orbit and. We're going to get on discovery close the hatch go home. Now one thing before you went home that I believe it was it was you who instituted this was a tradition that still carried on today. Handing over command of the International Space Station you as the first commander that change of command ceremony with a bell and handing over of I think it was a key. That was started by you and there was inspired by your time in the navy. Is that right? Yes I and. It was something that we had talked about both with the Russian cosmonauts, the other astronauts in in Houston that we wanted to do Simply, because we had to control centers. At that point, we have four now. Have Five I'm not sure but the WHO. was in charge of the space station in later years in in in the modern era. definitely gets. Passed around from country to country, and even you know nationality nationalities whereas a station commander. So anticipating that we thought you know The navy has a long tradition of doing this and it's the Royal Navy in the UK the Russian Navy does the US. Navy does it then. You have the school ceremony where he say, okay fine. Here's the crew and we're gonNa tell you something and here's the new guy who's in charge and how. He's GonNa do, and so it's a chain of command and we thought that was a really important. cultural thing to introduce to the space station. I think at first the Russians were gone there scratching their heads saying. What are these Americans doing now? But? I think today. they and the Canadians the Japanese Europeans really like it because. It really sets the tone for the next phase of station operations and how it's going to be run. Now when you came home, you came home on the space shuttle and this was a little bit different for you in that. The tiny spent in space was much longer than you had previously on your other shuttle missions. How're you feeling when you came back? Now that you had spent so much time in your space, your your body adjusting to one g after a long expedition. I. I had a really good experience I. Don't really know why I always spent a Lotta time. hunter days. On orbit. getting what exercise we could We had a little jungle gym there we worked on the was new that really seemed to be beneficial. My experience coming back after I assess flight. was probably as good as my shorter shuttle flights and I I felt really good. I did not have Any particular Uneasiness you know nervous tubular issues or anything like that. Has has a little experiment. Day After we got back the morning after the day we had landed. we were gonNA pile into van. How in the parking lot get the Kennedy Space Center we're going to go somewhere for some kind of test. And when you're. Walking around to do these things you have. A flight surgeon right with you and maybe one or two other handlers just in case you start going wildly they'll. They'll catch you. And I I've felt pretty good and so we're out in the parking lot. And I, talked to my flight document said the Terry and he was going to drive the vantage Tara. Let me Let me try driving the van. Oldest him on his head since Sunday morning and it's like six o'clock in the lobby in the lot outside the. Building at KFC, there's nobody in the parking lot. There's no cars in the parking lot. And he says, okay but just take it really. So I got I got in the car driving around really slowly I could turn really slowly. Didn't like breaking abruptly but. It was easy on the controls it was. Okay. and. Then I did that for about three or four minutes I stopped got out. And I thought to myself. This is the kind of thing that we're. GonNa we're GONNA be doing when we go to Mars and we have a long journey, we're going to be weightless. We have a landing. We're all GONNA pile out and we're GONNA be in rovers and things like that and I thought about that I said to myself we can do this. That's big. That's that's berry big. That means that. You know as we're shaping what that's going to look like that. That little experiment you did it in the parking lot might actually prove useful as to as to how humans can perform on another surface. You know we've learned so. Not Well documented but I think that's the kind of stuff. That's right. You know we learned so much just from the International Space, station just pass yours I. Know I know you retired from NASA in two thousand one but taking a look at the whole space station program after your mission. Going from starting in two thousand now here we are twenty twenty. You know what do you take away from the experienced of what you've seen maybe from the outside of what we have our what value the International Space Station throughout these past twenty years has brought us. But I think people Maybe. Have not experienced or don't remember. What pay technical and programmatic and possibly disc diplomatic challenge the space station really was. In the fact that we're able to do it I don't think the state space stations had a major technical casually that I'm more of since we launched we had what sixty three expeditions on there that have all been very successful We have multiple ways to get to the station now So you gotta step back and say. Well. What does this really mean in terms of? the future what you know, what what does this say about what's next and I say well. If we'RE GONNA go. Past. The moon out to Mars, and maybe other places, asteroids and things like that. The character of how we will do this it's going to have several aspects. One is the vehicles that we send and they're probably going to be more than one of them are going to be very big they're going to be. Such a size that they can't be symbol on the ground in launched in a single lift, we don't have the boosters that are going to have enough power. So they're going to have to be assembled in orbit with. Ada In robotics and they're gonNA have to combine the resources of more than just one country because the the expense of Mars mission is not something. Any single country's GONNA be able to afford nor would they have all the technology and capability that will be required? And so if you look at. International Space Station. It's really a blueprint for how to do this. So I think all those questions there behind us. Does just an incredible thing to think about the space station not only for informing. Exploration plans for talking about the moon we're talking about. Mars and. Of International. Cooperation. Is is really thanks to the Space Station Program I. Know One thing we're looking forward to in the near future you talk about multiple ways to get to the space station. Now, that's an era of commercialization with commercial crew and I know there's efforts to commercialize low-earth-orbit and thinking about what else is going to be low-earth-orbit in the future and it'll be thanks to the space station that's informing some of those commercial enterprises Do you think there's there's value there to space station as a platform to help build an economy in low-earth-orbit? Well I. Think it's a big question that hinges on What what do Commercial. Operations really are commercial enterprises. What do they look like I? Think it's hard to have. A. Commercial Market. When Nastase the only customer it kind of stretches the question of is it really commercial event If, we were able to. Find some material invent or develop something that could only be done in St Louis had tremendous value either in the space based economy or back here on earth then I think you'd see commercial space really take off. Everybody's very optimistic that we are going to find something like that. I know that if we if we don't look for then we're not gonNA find. Now thinking about that, you know you gotTa make sure that Nastas just the only customer that we're one of many customers and we're also looking at exploration. We've got this artist program and that's going to inform our exploration plans from Mars. How do you see Nasr's role for the future? said. Open question right now I would like to see NASA. Take a strong role and leading the technology development and organizing the architecture for our we're GONNA do Lunar Exploration and certainly Mars Expeditions I. think that's the right place for. NASA. The one negative comment that I would have is the. Were NASA as a political animal if you will, and we tend to have a great periods of very robust development and operations, and then a stand down for a decade or two before we do the next big thing we did that in the Moon Program we did that shuttle were. Probably going to do that when space stations. Pass, passed its peak and getting ready for some sort of disposition I don't think gets a very healthy way to. Have a robust space capable organization. If we could change that for the better I think it'd be a tremendous thing. I absolutely believe that too bill shepherd. Thank you so much for coming on Houston. We have a podcast and sharing. The history of what it took to get to expedition one year experience there, and then what you helped shape for twenty continuous years on board. The International Space Station. I very much appreciate your time. To be with you and your audience. Thank you. took. The bring. Your. Hey. Thanks for sticking around. Hope you enjoy this conversation with ship as much as I. Did we've been putting together a collection of episodes about the international, space, station, and celebration of the twentieth anniversary of continuous human presence. Go check us out at NASA DOT GOV slash podcast. You can click on us used to we have podcast and off to the side, we have a collection of space station episodes you can listen to them in no particular order. This has been a very dynamic time for the International Space Station this month and we got a lot more coming up checkout NASA DOT GOV for the latest launch and landing schedule of crews going up and down to and from the International Space Station. You could talk to us at Houston. We have a podcast at the NASA Johnson Space Center pages of facebook twitter and Instagram is the Hashtag ask NASA on your favorite platform to submit an idea for the show just make sure to mention it's for us at Houston, a podcast. This episode was recorded on August Fourteenth Twenty twenty thanks to Alex Perriman, Pat Ryan Nor Moran Belinda, Toledo and Jennifer Hernandez things again to Bill Shepherd for taking the time to come on the show. We'll be back next week.

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