AS REPORTED BY GULF NEWS
- A 21st century space odyssey began as two Russians and an American blasted off for the International Space Station to become the first crew to live in the orbiting complex. US astronaut William Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalyov and Yury Gidzenko rocketed off onboard a Soyuz craft from this Central Asian cosmodrome for a four-month stint on the space station. The three astronauts will remain on the space station until next February when a replacement crew arrive. The ISS, a giant floating laboratory due to be fully completed by 2005 to 2006 at a cost of $60 billion (Dh220.68 billion ) to $100 billion, will be the biggest man-made structure in space and visible from Earth. Applause rang out among a gathering of Nasa and Russian officials.