Russian Soyuz docks with International Space Station for crew change

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Successful docking

Crewmembers opened hatches between the International Space Station and the newly arrived Soyuz capsule at 12:45 a.m. EDT Sunday to begin almost eight days of joint operations. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Astronaut John Phillips docked with the orbiting laboratory at 10:20 p.m. EDT Saturday.

European Space Agency’s Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy was the third passenger in the Soyuz and he will fly home after 8 days of experiments in the Space Station’s test facility. Going home with him will be two Russian Cosmonauts, Commander Leroy Chiao and Cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov, who have been on the Station since October. They will provide the new crew with extensive handover briefings as well as training them on the Station’s robotic Canadarm2.

They will leave the Station April 24 in the Soyuz that brought them to the orbiting laboratory. Their landing is scheduled for 6:08 p.m. EDT that day in Kazakhstan.

Highlights of the new Expedition 11 International Space Station crew's mission include welcoming the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery on its STS-114 mission, the first Shuttle flight since the Columbia accident. Discovery crewmembers will conduct three spacewalks at the Station, deliver several tons of equipment and supplies and return to Earth with equipment and scientific experiments and trash from the Station.

About the Space Station

  • Weight: 404,069 pounds
  • Habitable Volume: 15,000 cubic feet
  • Dimensions:
  • Width Across Solar Arrays: 240 feet
  • Length: 146 feet from Destiny Lab to Zvezda;
    • 171 feet with a Progress docked
  • Height: 90 feet