Status Report

Space Station Status Report #64 31 Dec 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
December 31, 2000
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Having spent a quiet holiday weekend in orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Alpha, the Expedition One crew members maintained a Naval New Year’s tradition as they prepared to begin their tenth week in space.

With crewmates Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev at his side, Alpha Commander Bill Shepherd, a U.S. Navy Captain, provided a poem he wrote on board, capturing his thoughts and reflections, as he and his shipmates ushered in 2001.

It is Naval tradition for the person on duty at the helm of a ship to provide an entry into the ship’s log at the turn of the New Year. Shepherd wrote the following:

“In longstanding naval tradition, the first entry in a ship’s log for the New Year is always recorded in prose. We would like to share with all, the entry being made in the log tonight as ‘Alpha’ salutes the New Year”

SHIP’S LOG 0000 01 JAN 2001

We sail onboard space station “Alpha”

Orbiting high above Earth, still in night

Traveling our destined journey

beyond realm of sea voyage or flight

A first New Year is upon us

Eight strikes on the bell now as one

The globe spins below on its motion

Counting the last thousand years done.

15 midnights to this night in orbit

A clockwork not of earthly pace

Our day with different meaning now

In this, a new age and place

We move with a speed and time

Past that which human hands can tell

Computers programmedólike boxes

Where only thoughts’ shadows dwell

“Central post” our ship’s bridge aboard

Screens dancing shapes in pale glow

We guide her course by electronic pulse

In figures no compass could show

Our panels set as sails to the Sun

With wake not ever seen but there

Only gyros feel the silent tugs

Wisps, swirls of such ocean rare

On this ship’s deck sits no helm now

Rudder, sheet, and rig long since gone

But here still– a pull to go places

Beyond lines where sky meets the dawn

Though star trackers mark Altair and Vega

Same as mariners eyed long ago

We are still as wayfinders of knowledge

Seeking new things that mankind shall know.

We commend to crews that will follow

Merit of the good ship we sail

Let Sun shine strong on Alpha’s wings

A symbol, and bright star we long hail.

The crew members spent a relaxing New Year’s Eve holding private conferences with their families as they gear up for a busy week of biomedical experiments and preparations for the next Shuttle assembly flight to the ISS which is scheduled for launch the third week in January.

The International Space Station Alpha continues to orbit the Earth in excellent shape at an altitude of 230 statute miles as it enters its fourth calendar year of existence.

The Johnson Space Center newsroom is closed and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2001 at 8 a.m. Central time.

The next Expedition One status report will be issued on Wednesday, Jan. 3, or sooner, if developments warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.