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EXP 12 READY FOR LAUNCH



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

Expedition 12: Veteran Crewmen for ISS Science   08.24.05

Two veteran crewmembers will make up the 12th crew of the International 
Space Station since continuous human presence began on the orbiting 
laboratory in November 2000.



In addition to marking the fifth anniversary of this uninterrupted 
presence of men and women in space, the crewmembers also will bring the 
Station into the new year and welcome the resumption of Space Shuttle 
flights to their home in orbit.

The six-month-plus stay of Expedition 12 will focus on Station assembly 
preparations, maintenance and science in microgravity. The commander is 
William McArthur, 54, a retired Army colonel. Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev, 
52, a Russian Air Force colonel, will serve as flight engineer and Soyuz 
commander.

McArthur is making his fourth flight into space. Tokarev visited the 
Station in his previous spaceflight, on a Shuttle mission in 1999. 
McArthur and Tokarev will launch on a Soyuz spacecraft in early October 
from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

With them will be Gregory Olsen, 60, who will spend eight days on the 
Station under a contract with Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space 
Agency. He will be the third private citizen to reach the Station.

Expedition 12 with Space Flight Participant Greg OlsenImage to right: 
 From left are, Expedition 12 crewmembers Commander William McArthur and 
Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, along with Space Flight Participant Greg 
Olsen. Credit: NASA

McArthur and Tokarev will spend more than a week with their 
predecessors, Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science 
Officer John Phillips. Handover includes briefings on Station safety, 
systems, procedures, equipment and science.

Olsen will return to Earth on Expedition 11's Soyuz with Krikalev and 
Phillips.

McArthur and Tokarev were to have been joined during Expedition 12 by 
European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany, 47. He was to 
fly into space on the STS-121 mission.

With that Shuttle mission delayed until no earlier than March 2006, 
Reiter would arrive at the ISS in the final days of the Expedition 12 
increment. Reiter, who flew for six months on the Russian space station 
Mir, would be the first non-American or non-Russian long-duration 
crewmember on the Station. He will fly under a commercial agreement 
between ESA and Roscosmos.


When Reiter arrives at the Station, the long-duration crew will have 
three people for the first time since May 2003.

Station operations and maintenance will take up a considerable share of 
Expedition 12's time. But science-oriented education activities, Earth 
observation and scientific experiments, both with and without crew 
involvement, will continue.

The crew will work on a number of scientific experiments. The Payload 
Operations Center at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, 
Ala., will operate some experiments without crew input and others work 
autonomously.

Station assembly work could include preparation for expansion of the ISS 
main truss and for installation of additional solar arrays.

Plans are taking shape for spacewalks by McArthur and Tokarev. They 
focus on continued outfitting of Station hardware and electrical systems 
and preparing external hardware for the addition of station elements. 
McArthur has two previous spacewalks, while Tokarev will be making his 
first.

Expedition 12 will see the arrival of an unpiloted Russian Progress 
cargo vehicle. The crewmembers also will relocate their Soyuz spacecraft 
from the Pirs docking port to the Zarya docking port to free the Pirs 
airlock for spacewalks.
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