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New Crew En Route to Station

*Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

New Crew En Route to Station*
The Soyuz </station/assembly/elements/soyuz/index.html> spacecraft 
carrying the Expedition 9 crew -- Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS 
Science Officer Michael Fincke -- and European Space Agency Astronaut 
André Kuipers was closing in Monday on the International Space Station.

ISS Soyuz 8 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:19 
p.m. CDT Sunday (0319 GMT Monday). The two-day chase will come to an end 
when the Soyuz docks with the Earth-facing docking port on the Station's 
Zvezda Service Module </station/assembly/elements/sm/index.html> at 
12:04 a.m. CDT (0504 GMT) Wednesday.

Aboard the Station on Monday, Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale and 
Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri maintained ISS systems and worked with 
science experiments. They also prepared for their return to Earth in the 
ISS Soyuz 7 spacecraft, which is currently docked to the Station.

After the new Soyuz arrives, the two crews will conduct joint operations 
and handover activities for nine days. Kuipers, who is flying under a 
commercial agreement between ESA and the Federal Space Agency of Russia, 
will conduct science experiments.

Foale, Kaleri and Kuipers are scheduled to leave the Station on April 29 
and return to Earth. Expedition 9 will spend about six months aboard the 

NASA TV </realdata/nasatv/index.html>'s coverage of Expedition 9's 
arrival at the Station begins at 11 p.m. CDT Tuesday (0400 GMT Wednesday).

Check out NASA TV's schedule </spacenews/releases/2004/N04-050.html> for 
coverage of upcoming ISS activities.

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