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Expedition 9 Departs ISS



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468


* Expedition 9 Departs ISS, Will Return to Earth Saturday*
The Expedition 9 crew --Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science 
Officer Mike Fincke -- and Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri 
Shargin are in the last few hours of their stay in space. Their ISS 
Soyuz 8 spacecraft, which undocked from the International Space Station 
at 4:08 p.m. CDT (2108 GMT) today, is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan at 
7:35 p.m. CDT (0035 GMT).

Before undocking, the trio bid farewell to the Stationís new resident 
crew, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan 
Sharipov. Expedition 10 officially took command of the ISS from 
Expedition 9 when the hatches between the Soyuz and Station were closed 
at 1 p.m. CDT (1800 GMT) today.

Padalka and Fincke are returning home after spending six months at the 
Station. Shargin, who arrived at the orbital outpost on Oct. 15 with 
Expedition 10, is wrapping up an eight-day stay at the ISS devoted to 
scientific research.

Meanwhile, Chiao and Sharipov are in the early stages of their tour of 
duty on the Space Station. They will spend the next six months 
continuing ISS science operations and maintaining Station systems. They 
will also prepare the Station for the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight 
and conduct two spacewalks.

NASA TV coverage of the Soyuz landing begins at 6:00 CDT (2300 GMT)Saturday
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