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CNN Today

Moving Day on International Space Station

Aired September 12, 2000 - 2:19 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: Well, more mundane tasks for the shuttle Atlantis astronauts. It is moving day up there in space. Crewmembers have begun transferring three tons of supplies to the International Space Station to be used when the first permanent crew takes up shop in November. Sounds like a lot of fun up there.

The story from CNN's Miles O'Brien.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Down the hatches they went, through 12 of them in all, from stem to stern of the 13- story International Space Station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Zvezda service module is now open for service.

O'BRIEN: Wearing masks and goggles as a precaution against potentially bad air, the seven-man Atlantis moving company wafted into the Russian-built living quarters called Zvezda. It was the beginning of a new era for the free-falling outpost on the high frontier.

BORIS MORUKOV, COSMONAUT: I think this moment in time will be really very important, because we will be entering a module, which will stay in orbit for 15 years.

O'BRIEN: The long occupation is set to begin in early November, when the Vanguard three-man crew arrives. They will, no doubt, owe the Atlantis seven some thanks. All week long, they will be stocking the cupboards with three tons of stuff: food, water, clothing, batteries, cameras, computers and office supplies.

TERRY WILCUTT, ATLANTIS COMMANDER: It is, I think, in a sense, history, because after we finish, then the thing really will be ready for the first International Space Station crew to live up there.

O'BRIEN: But before the moving could begin in earnest, the crew had to remove some packing material, bolts and brackets designed to protect Zvezda during launch.

With the shuttle and a Russian freighter each brimming with supplies and docked at opposite ends of the station, the crew's organizational and traffic management skills will be put to the test. SCOTT ALTMAN, ATLANTIS PILOT: It is a big challenge to choreograph all that equipment as it moves in each direction, to make sure that it all goes to the right place.

Miles O'Brien, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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