After a busy start in the International Space Station ISS, the ground control of the crew on Sunday has given free. The US astronaut Bill Shepherd and his Russian colleagues Yuri Gidsenko and Sergei Krikaljow were allowed to sleep on Sunday until 10.00 clock Moscow time (08.00 MEZ), said the Russian flight control center. Above all, the flyby on a piece of space debris, which approached to two kilometers, provided suspense. Course changes were not necessary, it was said at NASA. For Monday, tests were planned on the "electron" system, which extracts moisture from the air in the space station and supplies fresh oxygen.

After the Sunday breakfast, the unpacking of personal belongings, a lap on the exercise bike and another nap until lunchtime were on the program. Since arriving at the station on Thursday, the three astronauts had worked hard to make their home habitable about 400 kilometers above the ground. They put the systems for air supply into operation, mounted devices and stowed the tons of cargo landed on the ISS. On Saturday they tested the central on-board computer constructed in Germany, the completely new "brain" of the space station.

Shepherd, Gidsenko and Krikaljow are expected to stay in space by mid-February. They also prepared for the next guests in their outpost of humanity. On 16 November, an unmanned Russian Progress space transporter will dock at the ISS. On November 30, the crew of an American space shuttle comes to visit.

US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged messages on the occasion of the successful launch of the ISS research adventure. Putin said in his letter for further close cooperation with the International Space Station, "which has high priority in the conquest of space".

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