Expedition 18 Takes Command on Space Station

October 22, 2008
Expedition 17 Commander Sergei Volkov (second from left) shakes hands with Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke after officially handing over the station’s controls. From left, the other station residents are Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, Expedition 18 flight engineers Greg Chamitoff and Yury Lonchakov and spaceflight participant Richard Garriott. Image credit: NASA TV

Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, along with flight engineers Yury Lonchakov and Greg Chamitoff, officially took charge of the International Space Station Wednesday. The Change of Command Ceremony took place just before 2 p.m. EDT with Expedition 17 handing over the controls and wrapping up its stay at the International Space Station.

Wednesday is the last full day in space for Expedition 17 crew members Sergei Volkov, commander, and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko. They are packing items and making final preparations in their Soyuz TMA-12 for the ride home.

Spaceflight participant Richard Garriott also is returning to Earth after hitching a ride to the station with Expedition 18. Garriott, Volkov and Kononenko are scheduled to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan Thursday around 11:36 p.m. EDT.

Chamitoff is staying aboard the orbiting laboratory until space shuttle Endeavour brings his replacement, Sandra Magnus, on the STS-126 mission in November. He and Fincke are practicing the photography techniques they will use when Endeavour performs the rendezvous pitch maneuver while approaching the station.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Launch, docking returns International Space Station crew to full strength

Related Stories

Image: Watching meteors from the space station

June 29, 2015

stronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 28 flight engineer, tweeted this image from the International Space Station in August, 2011 with the following caption: "What a `Shooting Star' looks like from space, taken yesterday during ...

Recommended for you

Hubble image: Stormy seas in Sagittarius

July 30, 2015

Some of the most breathtaking views in the Universe are created by nebulae - hot, glowing clouds of gas. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the centre of the Lagoon Nebula, an object with a deceptively tranquil ...

New Horizons data hint at underground ocean

July 30, 2015

Pluto wears its heart on its sleeve, and that has scientists gleaning intriguing new facts about its geology and climate. Recent data from NASA's New Horizons probe—which passed within 7,800 miles of the surface on July ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.