Taking the Plunge
Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao trains in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Chiao and Expedition 10 Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov use the lab to help prepare them for work on the exterior of the International Space Station.
Chaio and Sharipov are set to arrive at the Station in mid-October, blasting off from Kazakhstan on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin will travel with them, then return to Earth several days later with Expedition 9 crewmembers Mike Fincke and Gennady Padalka.
Chiao and Sharipov will spend the next six months in space continuing ISS science operations and maintaining station systems. They will also prepare the Station for the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight and conduct two spacewalks. Two unpiloted Progress cargo ships are slated to arrive at the Station during their tour of duty, which will end in April 2005 when they are replaced by the Expedition 11 crew.
Photo Credit: NASA
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