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    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

Expedition 9 Prepares For Launch to Station
The International Space Station is orbiting the Earth in good shape as 
preparations continue for Sunday's launch of its new crew. Expedition 9 
Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke are 
slated to lift off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:19 p.m. 
CDT Sunday (0319 GMT Monday).

Flying with Expedition 9 will be European Space Agency Astronaut André 
Kuipers. He will spend nine days at the ISS before returning to Earth 
with the current crew, Expedition 8, on April 29.

On the Station, Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale and Flight Engineer 
Alexander Kaleri spent the past week preparing for the new crew, packing 
for their return home and wrapping up the increment's science 
operations. Foale and Kaleri, who have been on the Station for six 
months, also conducted routine maintenance on the Soyuz in which they 
will return to Earth, and they participated in routine medical evaluations.

The ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft carrying Expedition 9 is slated to dock with 
the Station early Wednesday.

NASA TV's launch coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. Sunday (0230 GMT Monday).

Check out NASA TV's schedule for coverage of upcoming ISS activities.

Expedition 9 Mission Overview (PDF 191 Kb)

 From left to right: Expedition 9 Commander Gennady I. Padalka (left), 
European Space Agency Soyuz crewmember André Kuipers and NASA ISS 
Science Officer Mike Fincke take a break from training for a photo at 
Johnson Space Center. 
Expedition 9 Next Crew to Take Command of Space Station
The International Space Station's next set of residents will arrive in 
April. Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer and 
NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke are slated to launch from Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 18 aboard the ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft 
and arrive at the Station on April 21.

European Space Agency Astronaut André Kuipers will travel with 
Expedition 9 to the Station and return to Earth with Expedition 8 aboard 
the ISS Soyuz 7 spacecraft.

After nine days of joint operations and handover activities with the 
Expedition 8 crew, Padalka and Fincke will spend about six months aboard 
the Station. Their tasks include maintaining ISS operations, continuing 
science operations and conducting two spacewalks.

Padalka is a space flight veteran. He spent 198 days aboard the Russian 
Mir space station in 1999. Expedition 9 is Fincke's first trip to space. 
Their tour of duty is scheduled to end in late October when the 
Expedition 10 crew, Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan 
S. Sharipov, replaces them.

Check out the Expedition 9 Press Kit.

Visit the Expedition 9

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