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Expedition 18 Awaits Shuttle Visitors, New Crew Member

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:12 pm
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(NASA) – Expedition 18 is awaiting the arrival of space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-126 mission. Arriving on Endeavour will be six shuttle crew members plus new station flight engineer Sandra Magnus. She will replace Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff who is leaving the International Space Station after six months. Chamitoff will return home with the STS-126 crew.

Station Commander Mike Fincke, Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov and Chamitoff have been preparing for their visitors. The station crew completed its final pre-launch tag up Wednesday with the shuttle crew in quarantine at Kennedy Space Center. Station cargo inventoried for return to Earth aboard the shuttle has been pre-packed. U.S. space suits and tools also have been checked out and configured for the shuttle astronauts who will do four spacewalks from the station’s Quest airlock.

Image above: The Expedition 18 crew from left to right (front row) are Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov. In the back row are flight engineers Koichi Wakata, Sandra Magnus, and Greg Chamitoff. Magnus will replace Chamitoff when she arrives at the station with STS-126. Wakata will replace Magnus in February 2009. Credit: NASA

The Progress 30 successfully undocked from the Zvezda service module Friday morning. Filled with trash and other discarded items, the Progress 30 will orbit Earth until early December and then re-enter the atmosphere to burn safely over the Pacific Ocean.

A new Progress cargo capsule is scheduled to arrive at the space station on Sunday, Nov. 30. Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is targeted for Nov. 26.

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