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ISS STATUS REPORT #03-21



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

International Space Station Status Report #03-21 
12:30 a.m. CDT, Sunday, May 4, 2003 
Expedition Six Crew

The Expedition 6 crew touched down in northern Kazakhstan in its Soyuz
spacecraft at 9:07 p.m. CDT Saturday, after an undocking from the
International Space Station. The Soyuz landed well short of the
predicted site and it took almost three hours for a search plane to find
the capsule and report that all appeared well. 

The Soyuz landed about 275 miles west and a little south of its
predicted touchdown point. The aircraft found the capsule and
established radio contact with the crew at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
The plane's crew subsequently reported seeing Expedition 6 crewmembers
outside the Soyuz, waving and apparently well. 

The crew, Commander Ken Bowersox, Soyuz Commander Nikolai Budarin and
NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit, spent about 5½ months in space, all
but two days of it on the station. The landing ended a mission that
began with their launch on Nov. 23 and their docking to the orbiting
laboratory two days later. It marked the first landing of an advanced
Soyuz TMA spacecraft, and it was the first time U.S. astronauts have
landed in any Soyuz capsule. 

Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed
Lu, who arrived at the station early last Monday, formally began their
increment on the station with the departure of their predecessors. A
change-of-command ceremony began at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. After farewells,
hatches between the station and the Soyuz TMA-1 were closed at 2:38 p.m.
Malenchenko and Lu will be aboard the orbiting laboratory for about six
months. 

The undocking procedure began right on time at 5:40 p.m. Saturday, with
springs pushing the Soyuz away from the ISS three minutes later. At 5:46
p.m. a separation burn of Soyuz thrusters increased its speed as it
moved away. Minutes later, the station began maneuvering itself from the
undocking attitude back to the standard "duty attitude." 

The 4-minute, 18-second deorbit burn began at 8:12 p.m. About 8:40 p.m.
the orbital and instrumentation/propulsion modules separated from the
crew's descent module, the only one of the three intended to return to
Earth. Minutes later that module began to feel the effects of the upper
atmosphere. About 8:52 p.m. the first of a series of parachutes deployed
to slow the module's rate of descent and six small rocket engines fired
just before touchdown to further slow the capsule. 

Helicopters with ground support personnel had to refuel before flying to
the Soyuz to retrieve the crew. The crew will fly today to the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan before returning to Star City, the Russian
space center near Moscow. There the crew will begin debriefings and
physical rehabilitation. Bowersox and Pettit are scheduled to return to
Johnson Space Center in a little over two weeks. 

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future
launch dates, as well as station sighting opportunities from anywhere on
the Earth, is available on the Internet at: 

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/ 

Details on station science operations can be found on an Internet site
administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at: 

http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/ 

The next International Space Station status report will be issued on
Friday, May 9, or sooner if events warrant. 



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