The Third Mission to the International Space Station
In 2000, Mary Ellen Weber flew on her second spaceflight — STS-101 aboard Atlantis — the third mission to construct the International Space Station, which had been vacant for over a year prior to the crew's arrival. Russian delays in building the next module, coupled with rapidly failing batteries that were keeping the Station "alive," led to an unprecedented move. With only two months prior to launch, the STS-101 crew was split in two and half were re-assigned to an added later mission. Weber and the remaining crew welcomed new crewmates to became a cohesive team in time for a successful mission. At the dawn of both the Station era and the reality TV era, the significance of this mission led A&E to produce a behind-the-scenes documentary,
"Mission Possible," chronicling the crew’s 18 months of training in the U.S. and Russia and ultimate success in orbit.
Weber's roles included being flight deck crew for launch and re-entry responsible for myriad system monitoring, controlling
the docking module during Station rendezvous, operating the Shuttle’s robotic arm to maneuver spacewalkers during a six-hour spacewalk, and overseeing the “Spacehab” module installed in the back of the Shuttle’s bay.