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Three New Space Station Crew Members to Arrive Today

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2009

image Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev are tackling a busy workload today as they await the docking of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying the remaining three Expedition 22 crew members this evening.

NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi are scheduled to dock with their new home at 5:54 p.m. EST. The trio safely launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

This morning, after a daily planning conference and regularly scheduled exercise, Williams analyzed water samples from the station's Water Recovery System using the Total Organic Carbon Analyzer. Williams also mated some data cables in the Harmony node and the Japanese Kibo module.

Later Williams checked out the connection between the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer 2 and its portable computer to verify command capabilities.

Meanwhile in the Russian segment of the orbiting complex, Suraev spent his morning performing some routine maintenance on some of the smoke detectors and also gathered some air samples for testing.

Because of the unusual length of today's workday, both Williams and Suraev had four hours set aside this morning to rest up before beginning their afternoon activities and final preparations for the arrival of their three new crewmates.

Suraev will activate the IZGIB-DAKON experiment hardware to examine mathematical models of the space station's gravitational environment during the Soyuz docking. Williams will set up the onboard video system to receive video from the Soyuz and transmit it on the station's Ku-band communications system.

As the Russian spacecraft makes it approach for docking to the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module, Suraev will monitor rendezvous activities.

Coverage of the docking of Creamer, Kotov and Noguchi will begin on NASA Television at 5:30 p.m. NASA TV will return at 7 p.m. for coverage of hatch opening and the welcoming ceremony between the two crews, which will take place about 7:29 p.m.

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