ISS prepares for new crew arrival

March 20, 2006

The two-man international space station crew repositioned their Soyuz spacecraft Monday to prepare for the arrival of the next ISS crew.

The 22-minute operation was conducted as the ISS orbited 220 miles above Earth.

Russian Valery Tokarev, along with American Bill McArthur, piloted the Soyuz about 80 feet along the station beginning at 1:49 a.m. and re-docked it at a different port at 2:11 a.m. EST Monday, NASA reported.

The Soyuz move clears way for the March 31 arrival of the next ISS crew -- Russian Pavel Vinogradov and American Jeff Williams -- along with Brazilian Space Agency astronaut Marcos Pontes.

The Brazilian is to return to Earth with Tokarev and McArthur on April 8 as they complete their 190-day assignment.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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