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Expedition 15 Set to Return Home


*Expedition 15 Set to Return Home*
 19 October 2007

  Image above: The crew members onboard the International Space Station 
pose for a group photo in the Destiny laboratory of the International 
Space Station. Credit: NASA

As Expedition 15 wraps up and prepares to return home, the Expedition 16 
crew members are busy preparing for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery.

At a change of command ceremony Friday afternoon, the Expedition 15 crew 
formally handed over command of the station to Expedition 16.

Accepting command of the station from Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor 
Yurchikhin, Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson remarked, "It's been a 
very impressive mission, and you guys have performed exceptionally."

The crews will bid their final farewells Saturday night, as the 
Expedition 15 crew, Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, board 
their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft for the return to Earth. They will undock 
from the station around 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday and land in the steppes of 
Kazakhstan around 6:37 a.m.

Joining Expedition 15 for the journey home is spaceflight participant 
Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a Malaysian flying under an agreement with the 
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). He arrived at the station with 
the Expedition 16 crew, Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, on 
Oct 12.

NASA TV coverage of the crew farewells and hatch closure begins at 11:45 
p.m. Saturday. Live coverage of the undocking starts at 2:45 a.m. 
Sunday. Live coverage returns at 5:15 a.m. for the Soyuz deorbit burn 
and landing.

Flight Engineer Clay Anderson, who joined Expedition 15 in June, will 
remain onboard as a member of Expedition 16, until his replacement, 
astronaut Dan Tani, arrives on the STS-120 shuttle mission later this 

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