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Expedition 16 in Orbit, Heads to Station


*Expedition 16 in Orbit, Heads to Station*

Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko 
and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor are in orbit and on 
their way to the International Space Station. Their Soyuz TMA-11 
spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Wednesday at 9:22 a.m. 
EDT and entered orbit less than 10 minutes later. They will dock to the 
Earth-facing port of the stationís Zarya module on Friday about 10:52 a.m.

Image above: The Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft launches on time from Baikonur 
Cosmodrome. Image at bottom: Peggy Whitson (upper right) and Yuri 
Malenchenko inside the Soyuz during the climb to orbit. Credit: NASA TV

The Expedition 15 crew has been busy readying the station as they 
prepare to greet their replacements and Malaysian guest. Commander 
Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov set up a work space in 
the Zvezda service module that will allow the visiting Shukor to perform 
several experiments over nine days. Flight Engineer Clay Anderson also 
resized U.S. spacesuits for Whitson and Malenchenko for an upcoming 
spacewalk. The current station crew also held space-to-ground 
teleconferences with their Expedition 16 counterparts to assist with 
handover activities.

Yurchikhin and Kotov are scheduled to leave the station on Oct. 21 
officially ending the Expedition 15 increment. Shukor will go home with 
the two cosmonauts. Anderson will remain onboard with Expedition 16 and 
return to Earth next month aboard Discovery on its STS-120 mission.

+ View crew daily timelines 
+ Read more about Expedition 15 
+ Read more about Expedition 16 
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