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*International Space Station Status Report #06-17*
*7 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 8, 2006*
*Expedition 12 Crew*

After orbiting Earth more than 3,000 times during six months on the 
International Space Station, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and 
Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev returned to the planet Sunday morning in 
Kazakhstan. With them was Marcos Pontes, Brazilís first astronaut.

The Soyuz spacecraft with McArthur, Tokarev and Pontes landed in central 
Kazakhstan, about 30 miles northeast of Arkalyk, at 7:48 p.m. EDT 
Saturday. The crew's families will greet them at Star City, Russia, near 
Moscow, early Monday. McArthur and Tokarev will remain in Star City for 
post-flight debriefings before returning to Houston later this month. 
McArthur and Tokarev launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, 
Sept. 30, 2005.

They spent 189 days, 18 hours and 51 minutes in space. During their 
mission, they conducted two spacewalks and relocated their Soyuz 
spacecraft twice, becoming the first ISS crew to dock to every Russian 
docking port on the complex. They also became the first two-person 
station crew to conduct a spacewalk in both Russian and U.S. spacesuits. 
Pontes flew to the station with the Expedition 13 crew last week as part 
of a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency, 
Roscosmos. He spent eight days on the station conducting experiments.

The new station crew, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and 
Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams, will have light 
duty for the next few days as they rest from a busy handover. They will 
remain in orbit for six months. The crew plans to perform two spacewalks 
and greet two space shuttle crews during their expedition.

Joining them during their stay on the station will be Thomas Reiter, a 
European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, also flying under a 
commercial agreement with Roscosmos. Reiter is scheduled to come to the 
station on the Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-121 mission, targeted for a 
July launch.

Reiter will be the first non-Russian, non-U.S. long-duration crew member 
on the station. His arrival will bring the station crew size to three 
for the first time since May 2003, when the crew size was reduced to 
conserve supplies in the wake of the Columbia accident.

Shuttle Atlantisí STS-115 mission is also scheduled during Expedition 13 
and will resume major assembly of the station. The shuttle and station 
crews will work together to add another set of batteries and solar 
arrays to the complex.

Information on the crew's activities aboard the space station, future 
launch dates, and station sighting opportunities are available at:


The next status report will be issued Friday, April 14, or earlier if 
events warrant.

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