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Special Event

Space Shuttle Endeavour Docks with International Space Station

Aired December 2, 2000 - 2:58 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We will not be leaving this particular hearing for long, but we do want to make mention here at CNN that there is some other news out there and the news that we're talking about takes place about 230 miles above Earth.

A five-member crew on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour about to dock with the International Space Station any moment right now. This docking is critical because the crew is bringing new power supply with it -- two giant solar wings to be attached to the international to help recharge batteries and radiators and offer other sources of power on board the International Space Station. Both these wings together cost about $600 million.

It's critical at this time because there are three established rooms inside the International Space Station, but one has been closed off because of a lack of power there. Again, two cosmonauts, one astronaut did arrive on board the International Space Station several weeks ago but now they need the power and they should get it once things are established. The solar wings are quite large -- 240 feet long, 38 feet wide. NASA officials at Johnson Space Center outside of Houston keeping watch on this and as we get closer we will not listen to NASA at the Johnson Space Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight inches -- two inches -- contact. Capture confirmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alpha, reconfirm that. We see your mooring lights flashing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Capture confirmed.

That conversation confirming contact and capture, docking with the International Space Station at 2 p.m. Central time, as the two spacecraft -- 235 miles above Khazakstan, near the Khazakstan-Russia border.

Now, the steering jets aboard the station are turned off as well as the steering jets for Endeavour and springs in the docking mechanism will dampen out any relative motion between the two spacecraft. Once that is done, then commands will be sent by the crew aboard Endeavour to retract the docking rings seen in this view from Endeavour and pull the spacecraft together -- the 80-ton station and the 120-ton shuttle. Once they're pulled together, then hooks and latches will engage in the mechanism to firmly attach the two for the duration of Endeavour's stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) coming up on two minutes and 20 seconds here. Looks like we have a ring aligned, and on your go we'll do step 10.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, and Endeavour, you're go for step 10.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy that; two minutes right there.

HEMMER: Nothing better than technology to bring us second-to- second updates from something happening 230 miles above planet earth. The space shuttle Endeavour, a successful mission, docking with the International Space Station, and from here the crew of five will help transport two giant solar wings to help provide more power to the International Space Station. They are the largest man-made structures ever employed in space.

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