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New Space Station Crew Members Launch from Kazakhstan

11/15/2011

Three new crew members -- Dan Burbank, KC5ZSX, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin -- are on their way to the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying the new trio launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0414 UTC Monday, November 14. The Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the ISS at 0433 UTC Thursday, November 17. Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum, KF5AQG, and flight engineers Satoshi Furukawa, KE5DAW (JAXA) and Sergei Volkov, RU3DIS (RKA), will welcome their new crewmates when the hatches open a couple of hours later, at about 0655 UTC. Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin are scheduled to live and work aboard the ISS until March. 

NASA TV will cover the Soyuz docking, beginning at 11 PM (EST) Tuesday, November 15. NASA TV coverage of the hatches opening and the welcoming ceremony aboard the orbiting laboratory will begin at 1:30 AM (EST) Wednesday, November 16. 

This will be Burbank’s third visit to the ISS. His previous two visits were both aboard space shuttle Atlantis. He helped prepare the station for its first crew during STS-106 in 2000 and helped install the P3/P4 truss during STS-115 in 2006. Shkaplerov and Ivanishin are beginning their first mission as cosmonauts. 

Expedition 29 will end when Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov undock from the Rassvet mini-research module inside the Soyuz TMA-02M on Monday, November 21. The outgoing trio is scheduled to land in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 0225 UTC the next day. Expedition 30 officially begins when the Soyuz spacecraft undocks. Burbank will take over station command in a ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 20. The ceremony will be aired on NASA TV at 8 AM (EST) the next day. 

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS, are scheduled to launch to the station Wednesday, December 21, joining Expedition 30 as flight engineers. 

According to NASA, the six crew members will be busy with dozens of experiments during their time aboard the ISS. They will also 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, California. 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, Virginia. 

Keep up with the astronauts on the ISS via Twitter. You can follow Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum, KF5AQG, and Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank, KC5ZSX, on the popular social network.



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