Expedition 18 Crew To Launch from Baikonur

Oct 09, 2008
Expedition 18 Crew To Launch from Baikonur
Spaceflight participant Richard Garriott (left), along with cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov (center), Expedition 18 flight engineer; and astronaut Michael Fincke, Expedition 18 commander, participate in a flag raising ceremony near the Cosmonaut Hotel at the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

(PhysOrg.com) -- Commander Edward Michael "Mike" Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Valentinovich Lonchakov of the 18th International Space Station crew are scheduled to launch in their Soyuz TMA-13 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan about 3 a.m. EDT Sunday to begin a six-month stay in space.

With Fincke, an Air Force colonel, and Lonchakov, a colonel in the Russian Air Force, will be spaceflight participant Richard Garriott, flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Garriott will return to Earth with Expedition 17 crew members, Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, in their Soyuz TMA-12 on Oct. 23. Expedition 17 launched to the station April 8.

Expedition 18 crew members will be welcomed by the Expedition 17 crew, including astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff, after their docking to the orbiting laboratory, scheduled for Tuesday. Chamitoff launched to the station on the STS-124 mission of Discovery May 31. He joined Expedition 17 in progress and will provide Expedition 18 with an experienced flight engineer for the first part of its increment.

Fincke, 41, is making his second long-duration flight on the station. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds master's degrees from Stanford University and the University of Houston, Clear Lake.

He served as an Air Force flight test engineer. He was selected by NASA in 1996. He was commander of the second NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO 2), working seven days on the seafloor off Florida in May 2002. He served as a flight engineer on station Expedition 9 from April to October 2004.

Lonchakov, 43, is a graduate of the Orenburg Air Force Pilot School and the Zhukovski Air Force Academy. He is a class 1 air force pilot. He has more than 1,400 hours of flight time. He also is a paratroop training instructor with 526 jumps.

He was selected as a test cosmonaut candidate in late 1997. He has flown two previous space missions, STS-100 to the station in April 2001 and a Soyuz delivery flight to the station in October and November 2002.

Astronaut Sandra H. Magnus is scheduled to fly to the station on STS-126 to replace Chamitoff as a flight engineer on E18. Magnus, 43, will be replaced near the end of Expedition 18 by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who will launch on Discovery on the STS-119 mission. Magnus holds bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology.

She was selected as an astronaut in 1996. Magnus will be making her second spaceflight. She flew as a mission specialist on STS-112 in October 2002.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: Copernicus operations secured until 2021

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA launches RapidScat wind watcher to Space Station

Sep 22, 2014

A new NASA mission that will boost global monitoring of ocean winds for improved weather forecasting and climate studies is among about 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of NASA science investigations and cargo ...

NASA image: Expedition 40 Soyuz TMA-12M landing

Sep 11, 2014

Ground support personnel are seen at the landing site after the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft landed with Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson of NASA, and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev ...

NASA image: Flying through an aurora

Sep 10, 2014

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst posted this photograph taken from the International Space Station to social media on Aug. 29, 2014, writing, "words can't describe how it feels flying through ...

Recommended for you

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

18 minutes ago

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

Steering ESA satellites clear of space debris

24 minutes ago

Improved collision warnings for its Earth observation missions means ESA controllers can now take more efficient evasive action when satellites are threatened by space junk.

European Data Relay System on track

1 hour ago

The first component of Europe's space data highway passed several critical tests this summer replicating the harsh launch and space conditions it will soon have to endure.

User comments : 0

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.