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Exp 14th Station Crew to Launch from Baikonur



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMST A/C #31468

FEATURE 	
14th Station Crew to Launch from Baikonur

	09.13.06

Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin of the 14th 
International Space Station crew are scheduled to launch from the 
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan a few minutes after midnight EDT on 
Sept. 18 to begin a six-month stay in space.

With them will be American Anousheh Ansari, the first female spaceflight 
participant to visit the orbiting laboratory. She is flying under 
contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency.


She will return to Earth with the Expedition 13 crew, Commander Pavel 
Vinogradov and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams, on Sept. 28. 
Expedition 13 launched to the station on March 30.

After its 12:09 a.m. launch Sept. 18, Expedition 14's Soyuz TMA 
spacecraft is scheduled to dock at the station at 1:28 a.m. on Sept. 20.

There they will be greeted by their third Expedition 14 crew member, 
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany. Reiter arrived 
at the station aboard Discovery on the STS-121 mission in July. He 
joined Expedition 13, bringing the number of station crew members to 
three for the first time since May 2003.

Lopez-Alegria, 45, will be making his fourth flight into space. He flew 
three space shuttle missions. On Expedition 14, he also will serve as 
NASA science officer.

Tyurin, 46, is making his second spaceflight. He served as a member of 
the station's Expedition 3 crew in 2001, which launched in August and 
landed in December. He is the second long-duration crew member to be 
assigned to a second expedition. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev was a member 
of the Expedition 1 and Expedition 11 station crews.

Reiter is the first European Space Agency astronaut to server as a 
long-duration International Space Station crew member. His presence for 
the first part of Expedition 14 will be valuable for his new crewmates 
because of his knowledge of the station and its systems. Previous 
oncoming crews have relied on intense handovers of just over a week with 
the predecessor crew members before taking over station operations 
themselves.

Reiter, who served as a crew member on the Russian space station Mir for 
six months in 1995, is scheduled to return to Earth aboard Discovery on 
STS-116 in December.

Discovery will bring Astronaut Sunita Williams to the station to replace 
Reiter and join Expedition 14 in progress. Williams, 41, a Navy 
commander, will be making her first spaceflight. She is scheduled to 
remain on the station until next spring.

Discovery also will bring the P5 truss to the station. While it is 
docked, station and shuttle crews will reconfigure the orbiting 
laboratory's electrical system and activate the new solar arrays brought 
up by Atlantis on STS-115.

Expedition 14 will do as many as four spacewalks, perhaps three in 
January in U.S. spacesuits, to reconfigure the station's permanent 
cooling system. The other would be done earlier in Russian spacesuits to 
retrieve and install experiments.

Two Expedition 15 crew members are expected to arrive next spring to 
replace Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin.


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