Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Station crews to relocate Soyuz spacecraft

A new Russian docking port on the International Space Station will soon house its first spacecraft.

Russian flight engineer Max Suraev and American Jeff Williams, the commander of Expedition 22, are scheduled to relocate one of the two Soyuz spacecraft parked at the outpost early Thursday.

Click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch live coverage of the event starting at 4:45 a.m.

Suraev and Williams, who flew to the station together in October in the Soyuz TMA-16, will undock from the station just after 5 a.m.

Within a half-hour, Suraev will pilot the spacecraft from the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module to the new Poisk module located on the Service Module's space-facing port.

Poisk, which means "search, seek and explore" in Russian, is also called the Mini-Research Module-2 and is nearly identical to the Pirs docking port. It made an automated docking at the station Nov. 12, adding an additional docking port and airlock for spacewalkers.

Last week, Suraev and cosmonaut Oleg Kotov performed a five-hour, 44-minute spacewalk to prepare the Poisk to receive the Soyuz.

Russia's Mini Research Module-1 is scheduled to fly to the station aboard Atlantis during this year's third of five shuttle missions, targeted for May.

IMAGE: NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams (left), Expedition 22 commander; and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, flight engineer, take a break from training at NASA's Johnson Space Center to pose for a portrait in July 2009. Credit: NASA.

1 comment:

David Burgs said...

This is great news for Russia, I hope they get far with this space program. In my opinion, this is a good investment.
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