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    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat #31468

*International Space Station Status Report #04-21*
*1 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 21*
*Expedition 8 Crew*

New residents arrived at the International Space Station at 12:01 a.m. 
CDT (0501 GMT, 9:01 a.m. Moscow time) Wednesday. Docking of the 
Expedition 9 Crew’s Soyuz spacecraft (ISS Soyuz 8 / TMA-4) initiated a 
nine-day handover and science operation by a visiting European Space 
Agency researcher.

With Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka at the controls, the Soyuz 
vehicle linked up to the nadir docking port of the Zarya Control Module 
as the two spacecraft flew 230 miles above central Asia. The docking 
followed Monday’s launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ISS 
Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke and ESA Astronaut 
Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands joined Padalka on the Soyuz.

Padalka and Fincke will spend six months living on the Station while 
Kuipers, who is flying under a commercial contract between ESA and the 
Russian Federal Space Agency, will conduct an nine-day research mission 
before returning April 30 with Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale and 
Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri, who monitored the new crew’s arrival 
from onboard the ISS. Today marked 186 days in space for Foale and 
Kaleri, and 184 days on the Station.

After leak checks, hatches were opened at 1 a.m. CDT, allowing Foale and 
Kaleri to greet their first visitors since October to begin joint 
operations. One of the first tasks for the five crewmembers was a safety 
briefing and the start of Kuipers’ science activities. His scientific 
payloads arrived at the Station in January on the Progress supply craft 
presently docked to the Zvezda Service Module.

On the scene at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev outside 
Moscow observing the docking were NASA Deputy Administrator Fred 
Gregory, Michael Kostelnik, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for 
Space Station and Space Shuttle and ISS Program Manager William 

Over the next nine days, Padalka and Fincke will familiarize themselves 
with Station systems and stowed equipment, conduct robotics training 
with the Canadarm2 robot arm, and receive detailed briefings on the 
scientific payloads they will be operating through October.

Foale and Kaleri will exercise rigorously to condition themselves in 
preparation for the effects of gravity upon their return to Earth with 
Kuipers in the ISS Soyuz 7 craft (TMA-3) mated to the Pirs Docking 
Compartment. Landing is set for April 30 at sunrise in north central 

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 ISS status report will be issued Friday, April 23, or earlier, 
if events warrant.

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