Station Crew Moves Soyuz Spacecraft
The 25-minute trip early Friday took the spacecraft to a docking port about 45 feet from where it started, but during the move the capsule and crew traveled about 5,500 miles.
Space station Commander Bill McArthur and Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev relocated their Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the station's Pirs docking compartment to the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module.
Image at right: Expedition 12 relocates the Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft as the International Space Station orbits above the Sahara Desert. Credit: NASA TV
The move was made to clear Pirs, which also serves as an airlock, for a spacewalk by Tokarev and McArthur in Russian spacesuits.
The Soyuz undocked from Pirs at 3:46 a.m. EST. The station crewmembers, wearing their Russian Sokol launch and entry suits, reached Zarya's nadir docking port at 4:05 a.m.
Preparations for the move began Thursday with McArthur and Tokarev putting station systems in unmanned configuration. That was done to prepare for the unlikely eventuality that the Soyuz could not redock at the station. If that had occurred, the crew would have had to return to Earth.