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After Delay, ISS Crew Opens Hatch to Cargo Supply Ship



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

After Delay, Space Station Crew Opens Hatch to Cargo Supply Ship

27 October 2006
    

International Space Station

A technical problem that plagued Thursday's docking of a Russian cargo 
ship to the orbiting International Space Station has been resolved, 
allowing the crew to unload fresh supplies.

After several hours of checking that the cargo ship was securely docked 
to the station, mission control gave the go-ahead for the crew to begin 
unloading fuel, food and water from the cargo ship, which blasted off 
from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan earlier this week.

The move was only possible after it was determined the unmanned Russian 
spacecraft had properly latched onto the orbiting outpost. During an 
initial docking attempt Thursday, the supply craft failed to latch 
completely.

Russian Space Agency official Nikolai Sevasteenov says the concerns 
stemmed from Mission Control's inability to determine whether the cargo 
ship's antenna had folded properly, as is required for a secure docking.

With the trouble solved, the three-man crew of the International Space 
Station was happy to open the hatches and begin unloading.

Russian space agency officials stress similar problems have been 
encountered before. They say, at no time was the crew in any danger.

Friday's delivery means the crew can look forward to enjoying videos and 
letters from home.

American astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail 
Tyurin, and German astronaut Thomas Reiter have logged a little over a 
month in space as part of a six-month tour to the International Space 
Station.
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