On Oct. 31, 2000, the universe changed. At 10:53 a.m. local time, a Soyuz spacecraft lifted off on a tail of fire and smoke from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Onboard were three travellers: NASA astronaut William Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, headed to the then-unoccupied International Space Station, or ISS.
Before liftoff, the skies above them were empty. There was no one in space. Sure, humans had been there and returned – in fact, the space shuttle Discovery had just landed 10 days earlier. A few years before, there had briefly been a record 13 people in orbit at one time. But on that day, every human being on Earth was just that – on the Earth.
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But since then, the ISS has been a constant home to a rotating series of crew members and visitors, 240 in total. For 20 years as of this Halloween, humanity has had a toehold in the cosmos. Just as anyone under 50 has never known a moon without footprints, so anyone in their teens or younger has lived their entire lives — the whole of the 21st century to date — in a time when Earth is not our only home.