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More Details for 2005-10-07
International Space Station Status Report #05-49

Following the docking of the Soyuz spacecraft early Monday morning, the space station is now home to a new crew. Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, joined by spaceflight participant Gregory Olsen, spent the week on board with the Expedition 11 crew performing handover and transfer activities.

McArthur, Tokarev and Olsen arrived at the space station at 12:27 a.m. CDT Monday, Oct. 3, and entered the orbital laboratory at 3:36 a.m. For McArthur and Tokarev, the station will serve as home for the next six months.

The crews began joint activities with safety briefings and a review of emergency escape procedures. The remainder of the first day together for the two crews included initial handover briefings, deactivation of the Soyuz spacecraft and drying and stowage of the Russian Sokol spacesuits worn during launch.

Handover activities continued throughout the week. On Tuesday, Expedition 11 Flight Engineer John Phillips and McArthur reviewed robotic arm software that provides graphical depictions of the station's exterior to aid in arm operations. The following day, the two performed several maneuvers using the Canadarm2 to acquaint the new crew with how the robotic arm behaves in the space environment.

The crews also conducted experiments. The studies included the Intercellular Interactions experiment, a Russian study of the effect of microgravity on cell surfaces and intercellular interactions, and an experiment that studies the process of genetic material transmission in bacteria. Other experiment work included a study of the growth and development of higher plants in space, a study of changes in the human cardiovascular system in orbit and an investigation designed to help researchers understand the effect of radiation exposure on human organs.

The crews also fielded questions from media during a news conference and several interviews and received a special phone call from Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Fradkov congratulated the crews on their work and discussed his country's commitment to the international space station program.

Also this week, the crews installed radiation monitors and temperature sensor switching units, inspected U.S. emergency power supplies and smoke detectors, and replaced a laptop computer.

The crews will have some brief off-duty time this weekend, but will focus on completing handover and preparations for Expedition 11's return home. Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev and Phillips are scheduled to undock from the station at 4:43 p.m. CDT and land at 8:09 p.m. CDT on Monday in Kazakhstan.

NASA Television coverage of the crew's farewells will begin at 1 p.m. CDT Monday as they say their goodbyes and close the hatches between the station and the Soyuz spacecraft. NASA TV coverage of the undocking will begin at 4 p.m. CDT. Coverage of the deorbit burn will begin at 6:45 p.m. and continue through landing. The deorbit burn is scheduled for 7:19 p.m.

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