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New Station Crew Launches from Baikonur April 14,2005

Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

New Station Crew Launches from Baikonur April 14,2005

Soyuz launches from Baikonur The Expedition 11 crew -- Cosmonaut Sergei 
Krikalev and Astronaut John Phillips -- launched from the Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:46 p.m. EDT Thursday, right on 
schedule,April 14,2005

Their Soyuz TMA capsule reached orbit a little less than nine minutes 
after liftoff. Russian flight controllers reported the spacecraftís 
solar arrays had deployed as scheduled, and that all appeared normal.

With this 11th crew of the International Space Station is European Space 
Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy. Their Soyuz is scheduled to 
dock with the Space Station at 10:19 p.m. EDT April 16. Friday

Expedition 11's Krikalev and Phillips will spend about six months aboard 
the Space Station. Vittori will spend almost eight days on the Station 
conducting scientific experiments, and return to Earth with the 
Expedition 10 crew.

That crew, Commander Leroy Chiao and Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov, has 
been on the Station since October. They will leave the station April 24 
in the Soyuz that brought them to the orbiting laboratory. Their landing 
is scheduled for 6:08 p.m. EDT that day in Kazakhstan.

Highlights of the new crew's mission include welcoming the crew of the 
Space Shuttle Discovery on its STS-114 mission, the first Shuttle flight 
since the Columbia accident. Discovery crewmembers will conduct three 
spacewalks at the Station, deliver several tons of equipment and 
supplies and return to Earth with equipment and scientific experiments 
and trash from the Station.

Krikalev, 46, and Phillips, 54, will receive extensive handover 
briefings from their Expedition 10 predecessors, and will get training 
on the Station's robotic Canadarm2.

They also may see the addition of a third crewmember to the Station this 
summer brought to the Station by Atlantis on the STS-121 mission. Plans 
call for them to do two spacewalks, the first in August from the U.S 
airlock Quest in U.S. spacesuits, and the second, in September, in 
Russian spacesuits from the Pirs airlock. The spacewalkers will continue 
outfitting the Stationís exterior and work with scientific experiments.

Krikalev and Phillips also will welcome the arrival of two Progress 
unpiloted supply vehicles. ISS Progress 18 is scheduled to reach the 
Station in June and ISS Progress 19 should be launched near the end of 

In August, Krikalev, who also is Soyuz commander, and Phillips, who also 
will have the title of NASA ISS science officer, will move their Soyuz 
spacecraft from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya docking port. 
That will permit use of the Pirs airlock for spacewalk activity.

Krikalev is a veteran of five previous spaceflights, including two 
missions to the Russian space station Mir and two Shuttle flights. He 
was a member of the first Station crew, serving aboard a much smaller 
ISS from Nov. 2, 2000, to March 18, 2001. He has spent a year, 5 months 
and 10 days in space. This flight should see him become the world's most 
experienced space traveler.

Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, he graduated from what 
is now St. Petersburg Technical University in 1981 and then joined NPO 
Energia, the Russian organization responsible for human spaceflight. He 
was selected as a cosmonaut in 1985.

Record or not, just being in space isn't what's important, Krikalev 
says. "The job itself is very interesting for me, being there and being 
able to look back on Earth, to do something challenging." He said he 
probably hasnít paid enough attention to that record.

Philips was born in Fort Belvoir, Va., and considers Scottsdale, Ariz., 
his home. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1972 and became a Naval 
aviator. After leaving the Navy in 1982, he earned a masters and 
doctorate in geophysics and space physics from the University of 
California in 1984 and 1987. He did postdoctoral work at the Los Alamos 
Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico.

He was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He was a member of the STS-100 
crew of Endeavour in 2001. On that mission he coordinated two spacewalks 
at the Station to install Canadarm2.

Phillips has wanted to return to the Station ever since. "It was a 
wonderful place to be," he said. "The crew was doing a great job; they 
were having a good time." He wanted to stay longer then. Now he'll have 
about six months there.

Krikalev and Phillips are the Stationís fifth two-person crew. After the 
Columbia accident on Feb. 1, 2003, the ISS Program and the international 
partners determined that because of limitations on supplies the Station 
would be occupied by two crewmembers instead of three until Shuttle 
flights resume.

The 11th crew will continue science activities, initially with 
facilities and samples already on the station, but later with 
experiments scheduled to arrive at the station aboard Discovery.

The science team at the Payload Operations Center at the Marshall Space 
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will continue to operate some 
experiments without crew input and other experiments are designed to 
function autonomously.

Krikalev and Phillips are scheduled to spend about 180 days on the 
Station, returning to Earth in October, a little over a week after the 
arrival of their Expedition 12 successors.
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