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Station Crew to Move Soyuz

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:51 pm
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NASA Press Release:

Their spacecraft will fly independently about a third of the way around the world, but relatively speaking, they’ll be going just a little ways.

International Space Station Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams will move their Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of the station’s Zarya module to the aft port of the Zvezda module Thursday afternoon.

The move is being made to clear the Zarya port for the arrival of Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, along with spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi. Docking their Soyuz to Zarya after their scheduled April 7 launch will allow them to avoid a relocation move later in their expedition.

The Soyuz is scheduled to undock from Zarya about 6:30 p.m. EDT. It will move away from the station, then parallel to it and finally back to the station and its new docking port.

The station crew members, wearing their Russian Sokol launch and entry suits, are scheduled to reach Zvezda’s aft docking port about 30 minutes after undocking. The Soyuz will wind up about 80 feet from where it started.

Preparations for the move include station crew members putting systems in unmanned configuration. That is done to prepare for the unlikely eventuality that the Soyuz could not redock at the station. If that were to occur, the crew would have to return to Earth.

Live NASA Television coverage of the move is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. It will continue until shortly after the Soyuz docks.

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