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Flames from the solid rocket boosters lit up the clouds of smoke and steam trailing behind space shuttle Atlantis on May 19, 2000, as it lifted off into the pre-dawn sky on mission STS-101. Launch from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center occurred on time at 6:11:10 a.m. EDT. The mission took the crew of six American astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station to deliver logistics and supplies, as well as to prepare the station for the arrival of the Zvezda Service Module, launched by Russia on July 12, 2000.
The astronauts equipped the station with new or replacement gear and transferred more than a ton of supplies into the space station for use by future residents of the orbiting laboratory, and Mission Specialists James Voss and Jeff Williams completed one spacewalk. After a 10-day mission, Atlantis landed on May 29 at 2:20 a.m. EDT.
STS-101 was the shuttle program's third space station assembly flight. It was the first space flight and spacewalk for NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, who is currently living and working aboard the station as a member of the Expedition 47 crew.