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Expedition 17 Set To Undock Today

Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, Expedition 18 flight engineer, works with hardware in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA TV
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 24, 2008
With the Expedition 18 crew officially in command of the International Space Station, the Expedition 17 crew has finished making its final departure preparations and is ready to return to Earth. Outgoing commander Sergei Volkov officially handed over control of the station to new commander Mike Fincke Wednesday afternoon.

Returning to Earth with Volkov is Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and spaceflight participant Richard Garriott. They are scheduled to undock today at 8:16 p.m. EDT in the Soyuz TMA-12 and land in the steppes of Kazakhstan around 11:36 p.m.

Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff is staying aboard the orbiting laboratory until space shuttle Endeavour brings his replacement, Sandra Magnus, on the STS-126 mission in November. Chamitoff officially became a member of Expedition 18 last week when his custom Soyuz seat liner was moved from the Soyuz TMA-12 into the new TMA-13.

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Expedition 18 Takes Charge
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 23, 2008
Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, along with flight engineers Yury Lonchakov and Greg Chamitoff, officially took charge of the International Space Station Wednesday. The Change of Command Ceremony took place just before 2 p.m. EDT with Expedition 17 handing over the controls and wrapping up its stay at the International Space Station.

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