Science and Technology News

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Space Station Crew Members Launch from Kazakhstan

Stephanie L. Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington

Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston

HOUSTON -- NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin launched to the International Space Station at 11:14 p.m. EST Sunday (10:14 a.m. Kazakhstan time, Monday) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin are scheduled to dock their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft with their new home at 11:33 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, and join Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum of NASA and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov. Fossum will hand over command of the station to the new crew within four days.

On Tuesday, coverage of the Soyuz docking will begin on NASA Television at 11 p.m. NASA TV coverage of the hatches opening and the welcoming ceremony aboard the orbiting laboratory will begin at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov launched in June and are scheduled to return to Earth in their Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft at 8:24 p.m. Nov. 21 (8:24 a.m. Kazakhstan time on Nov. 22). Expedition 30 begins when the current crew undocks, leaving Burbank in command. A formal change of command ceremony is planned for Nov. 20 and will be aired on NASA TV during a video file Nov. 21 at 8 a.m.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers are scheduled to launch to the station Dec. 21, when they will join Expedition 30 as flight engineers.

The six crew members will be busy with dozens of experiments during their time aboard the station. They also will welcome a new era of commercial resupply services from the United States. Expedition 30 is expected to greet the arrival of Dragon, a commercial resupply ship being built by SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif. Dragon will perform a test flight and rendezvous with the station, soon followed by Cygnus (scheduled for flight during Expedition 31), another commercial resupply ship being built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station.

To follow Twitter updates from Expedition 28-29 crew member Fossum, visit http://twitter.com/astro_aggie.

To follow Twitter updates from Expedition 29-30 crew member Burbank, visit http://twitter.com/AstroCoastie.

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