Space station exchanges cargo ships

January 16, 2007

The crew of the International Space Station was preparing Tuesday for an exchange of cargo spaceships.

The Progress 22 cargo craft was to undock from the International Space Station Tuesday, beginning its final journey into the Earth's atmosphere.

The Russian-built spacecraft, filled with trash accumulated on the space station, will be destroyed during re-entry.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration controllers in Houston said the undocking will clear the station's Pirs Docking Compartment for the Friday arrival of a new cargo craft -- Progress 24 -- which is to be launched at 9:12 p.m. Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Progress 24 will deliver propellant, oxygen, spacewalk gear, clothing and other items to the space station.

The Progress 24 launch will also commemorate the 100th birthday of Sergei Korolev who was born Jan. 12, 1907. Russian space officials say Korolev is recognized as the "great designer" of Soviet spacecraft.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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