Friday, Oct. 19, 2001 - 7 a.m. CDT
Expedition Three Crew
International Space Station Status Report #01-38
Expedition Three crew members climbed into their Soyuz early today, backed the Earth return vehicle away from one International Space Station docking port, and successfully redocked, using the new Pirs docking port for the first time.
Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin began the short sojourn with undocking of the Soyuz at 5:48 a.m. CDT, and concluded with a firm linkup to the new docking compartment at 6:04 a.m. CDT after a total flight time of 16 minutes. Undocking occurred over northern Africa, and redocking over Kazakhstan just north of the Caspian Sea.
Today's successful move clears the way for the arrival of a new Soyuz return craft and its taxi crew -- Commander Victor Afanasyev, Flight Engineer Konstantin Kozeev and French Flight Engineer Claudie Haignere. Haignere is a European Space Agency astronaut carrying out a flight program for CNES, the French Space Agency, under a commercial contract with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. The new Soyuz is to be launched around 3:59 a.m. CDT Oct. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and will arrive at the station Oct. 23 for a week-long stay. The taxi crew will ride the Soyuz docked to Pirs back to Earth on Oct. 31.
Today's relocation -- similar to moving the family car from one driveway parking space to another -- will allow Tyurin to remain inside the station when Culbertson and Dezhurov conduct the expedition's third and final space walk, now scheduled for Nov. 8. If the new Soyuz were docked to the Pirs port, Tyurin would have to remain inside the Soyuz during the November space walk, unavailable to assist the space walkers by moving Canadarm2 into position to provide camera views and lighting of the work outside.
Preparations for the Soyuz relocation had begun early in the week, with the crew preparing the station for an extended period without human residents, as a precaution, in the unlikely event that the crew would be unable to return to the station. Final preparations began Thursday night when the crew was awakened about 7:30 p.m. CDT. The trio climbed into their flight suits and entered the Soyuz, closing the hatch at 1:20 a.m. The crew is scheduled to equalize pressures and reopen the hatch, returning to the station at 7:40 a.m. today.
With systems operating normally, the station is orbiting at an average altitude of 247 statute miles (395 km). For additional information, including sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, visit: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/
The orbiting trio will take Sunday and Monday off, then welcome its visitors and continue its scientific investigations next week. Oversight of science investigations on the station from the ground is by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. The Human Research Facility is managed by the Johnson Space Center. For details on science operations, visit: http://www.scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov
The next station status report will be issued following the Baikonur launch on Sunday morning or earlier, if events warrant.
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