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International Space Station Rendezvous With Service ModuleAired July 26, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Finally, a major piece of the International Space Station is now in place.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The orbiting outpost linked up overnight with the Russian-made control module.
ALLEN: The project is now $3 billion over-budget and years overdue.
Here's CNN's Miles O'Brien with more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have confirmation that we do have contact and capture (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from Zvezda now firmly attached to the International Space Station.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The high-above- the-ground work is complete and now the cornerstone of the International Space Station is locked and latched in place.
BOB CASTLE, NASA FLIGHT DIRECTOR: And as you can see and heard, this is truly an international program with many different countries participating. This is the beginning of a new era, in my opinion, in space with the world participating on this great project.
O'BRIEN: The automatic docking happened as the two craft flew over Kazakhstan, the station taking on the active role, homing in on its new appendage. Once mated, it took 25 minutes to close the hooks and latches designed to keep it tightly in place. Russian ground controllers will closely watch the cabin pressure for 24 hours, and then, if all is well and the seals are snug, they will throw the switches that will put Zvezda in control of the vacant station.
The first live-in station crew is slated for an October 30th launch from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome. Space station partners predict it will be the beginning of a 15-year uninterrupted multinational presence in low-Earth orbit.
Miles O'Brien, CNN.
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