The Soyuz TMA 9 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 14 crew continues its chase of the International Space Station. The Soyuz is scheduled to dock with the station at 1:24 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
Earlier today, the Soyuz crew members had a conversation with the station’s current residents, Expedition 13, and the six-member crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The three-way conversation was managed by the Mission Control Center in Houston.
Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin will replace Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams. European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter will remain on the station and join Expedition 14.
Flying with Expedition 14 is American Anousheh Ansari, who will be the first female spaceflight participant to visit the station. She is flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency.
Early Sunday, Expedition 13 concluded a busy week of joint operations with STS-115. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews installed the P3/P4 truss and its solar arrays on to the station. The shuttle crew then conducted three spacewalks to prepare the addition for operation.
The Progress 21 cargo ship, which was filled with trash and other unneeded items, undocked from the station about 8:30 p.m. Monday and was later commanded to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Explore further: Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought