New Station Crew Members Ready for Launch
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri made final preparations for their launch Thursday aboard the Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft to the International Space Station. Their two-day journey to the station will begin with a launch set for 7:10 p.m. EDT. NASA TV coverage of the launch will begin at 6:15 p.m.
› Watch the launch on NASA TV at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
Kelly, Skripochka and Kaleri are scheduled to dock to the station’s Poisk module Saturday at 8:02 p.m. completing the Expedition 25 crew.
Welcoming them aboard will be current station residents, Expedition 25 Commander Doug Wheelock and Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Shannon Walker. Wheelock, Yurchikhin and Walker arrived June 17 aboard their Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft.
Aboard the station Thursday, Wheelock worked with the Combustion Integrated Rack, installing some alignment guides. Wheelock also installed some camera equipment to help observe experiments in the Fluids Integration Rack.
Walker worked with the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) experiment. SPHERES comprises three free-flying spheres that fly within the station, performing flight formations. Each satellite is self-contained with power, propulsion, computers and navigation equipment. The results are important for satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and formation flying spacecraft configurations.
Yurchikhin worked in the Russian segment of the station conducting routine maintenance and troubleshooting the TVIS treadmill.
Throughout the day, the crew had time set aside for Earth observation and photography. The targets for Thursday included Khartoum, Sudan; Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii and Nouakchott, Mauritania.