Wednesday, April 06, 2011

U.S.-Russian Crew Due To Dock Tonight At ISS

The last three members of the 27th expedition to the International Space Station are scheduled to arrive at the outpost tonight after a two-day trip from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Two Russian cosmonauts -- Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrey Borisenko -- and U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan are due to dock at the $100 billion station at 7:18 p.m. EDT. The trio will join Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, U.S. astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman and Italian flight engineer Paulo Nespoli of the European Space Agency aboard the complex.

Here in The Flame Trench, you can watch live coverage of the arrival and a post-docking news conference that will take place at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev outside Moscow. Click the NASA TV box on the right to launch our NASA TV viewer and live NASA TV coverage, and refresh this page for periodic updates.

Hatches between the station and the Soyuz spacecraft are expected to open at about 10:15 p.m. Live coverage of a welcome ceremony is slated to begin at 9:45 p.m.

The Soyuz and its crew launched at 6:18 p.m. EDT Monday from Baikonur Cosmodrome on the central steppes of Asia. Kondratyev, Coleman and Nespoli arrived at the station in December and are scheduled to return to Earth in mid-May. The new arrivals will live and work aboard the station until September.

The expedition is the 27th since the station was opened for business in November 2000. The outpost has been continuously staffed by rotating crews ever since then.

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