Greeting them on the station were Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu, who are 177 days into their six months in space. The two crews will conduct eight days of joint operations and research before Expedition 7 and Duque return home on October 27.
Among those observing the on orbit arrival of Expedition 8 to the station were NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William Readdy and International Space Station Program Manager William Gerstenmaier. Both talked to the five station crew members delivering best wishes for the mission.
The plan for the two crews includes eight days of handover activities and scientific experiments carried out by Duque for Spanish and other European scientists under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency.
After lunch, the new crewmembers will receive a safety briefing from Malenchenko and Lu and install a seat liner for Duque in the Soyuz earmarked for landing Oct. 27 (U.S. time) and then begin setting up a host of Duque's equipment previously launched on Russian Progress resupply spacecraft.
The crews are scheduled to go to bed about 3 p.m. CDT today and wake up at midnight to begin their first full day of joint operations. Expedition 8 officially will take control of Station operations October 27 when Malenchenko, Lu and Duque close the hatches between their returning Soyuz and the station. Foale and Kaleri will remain on board until late April 2004.