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ISS Crew Moves Soyuz Spacecraft


Station Crew Moves Soyuz Spacecraft


The International Space Station crew rolled out a welcome mat for their 
successors early Monday, moving their Soyuz TMA spacecraft to clear a 
docking port for Expedition 13's arrival.

Space station Commander Bill McArthur and Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev moved 
their Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya 
module to the aft docking port of the Zvezda Service module.
Soyuz undockingThe move was made to clear the Zarya port for arrival of 
the Expedition 13 Soyuz TMA. Russian Commander Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. 
Flight Engineer Jeffrey Williams, will launch March 29 and dock at the 
station March 31. With them will be Marcos Pontes, a Brazilian astronaut 
who will return to Earth with McArthur and Tokarev on April 8.

The Expedition 12 Soyuz undocked from Zarya at 1:49 a.m. EST. The 
station crewmembers, wearing their Russian Sokol launch and entry suits, 
reached Zvezda's aft docking port at 2:11 a.m.

The two docking ports are a little more than 80 feet apart in a straight 
line distance. Tokarev, the Soyuz commander, backed the capsule about 
115 feet away from the station, then maneuvered to a point about 80 feet 
behind the Zvezda.

The Soyuz traveled a little over 200 feet relative to the station. But 
while it was undocked, the capsule and the station covered a distance of 
about 10,000 miles more than 200 miles above the Earth's surface.

Preparations for the move began Thursday with a test of the Soyuz 
thrusters and continued Sunday with McArthur and Tokarev putting station 
systems in unmanned configuration. That was done to prepare for the 
unlikely eventuality that the Soyuz could not redock at the station. If 
that had occurred, the crew would have had to return to Earth.
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