From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2003
Today aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Six crew welcomed its first visitors in more than four months. After a successful docking, the hatches between the station and the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft hatches were opened and the Expedition Seven Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu entered the ISS at 2:27 a.m. CDT (0727 GMT).
They were welcomed by Expedition Six Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit, who have been aboard the orbital outpost since Nov. 25, 2002. Docking occurred at 12:56 a.m. CDT (0556 GMT) as the two spacecraft sailed over Kazakhstan in central Asia.
The two crews will conduct joint operations this week. Among their handover activities, Expedition Six crewmembers will brief the new crew about ongoing science and station maintenance activities. On Saturday, Expedition Six will depart the station and return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft, ending a stay at the orbital outpost that began Nov. 25, 2002.
Malenchenko and Lu are the first people to visit Expedition Six since STS-113 left Dec. 2, 2002. They are the first humans to be launched into space since Space Shuttle Columbia and the STS-107 crew were lost during re-entry on Feb. 1. Expedition Seven is slated to spend six months aboard the station.
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