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Light-Duty Day for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 3, 2010 7:46 am via: NASA
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The new Expedition 24 crew aboard the International Space Station had a light-duty workday Wednesday following the Expedition 23 crew’s return to Earth Tuesday.

Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko shifted their sleep schedules, waking at 9:30 a.m. EDT, then had time slated to perform some routine maintenance tasks along with their daily physical exercise.

The Expedition 23 crew members are seated in chairs near their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft just minutes after they landed near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. From the left are Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer. Credit: NASA

The Expedition 23 crew members are seated in chairs near their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft just minutes after they landed near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. From the left are Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer. Credit: NASA

Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi landed their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft in Kazakhstan Tuesday wrapping up a five-and-a-half-month stay aboard the station.

Kotov, the Soyuz commander, was at the controls of the spacecraft as it undocked at 8:04 p.m. from the aft port on the station’s Zvezda module. The crew landed at 11:25 p.m., east of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Russian recovery teams were on hand to help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after 163 days in space.

The trio launched aboard the same Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 21, 2009. As members of the Expedition 22 and 23 crews, they spent 161 days on the station. They supported three space shuttle missions that delivered the U.S. Tranquility module and its cupola; put the finishing touches on U.S. laboratory research facilities; and attached the Russian Rassvet laboratory and storage module.

A new trio of Expedition 24 flight engineers, Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin, will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 15. They will join the crew when hatches between their Soyuz TMA-19 spaceship and the station are opened on June 17.

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