Status Report

Expedition 17 Set to Undock Today

By SpaceRef Editor
October 23, 2008
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Expedition 17 Set to Undock Today

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.

Watch NASA Television beginning at 4:45 p.m. today for farewell and hatch closure, again at 8 p.m. for undocking and at 10:30 p.m. for the deorbit burn and landing.

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.

SpaceRef staff editor.