International Space Station Status Report #03-52
1 a.m. CDT, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003
Expedition 7 Crew

A new crew rocketed toward the International Space Station early today, leaving the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz booster that lifted off at 12:38 a.m. CDT and flawlessly sped into Earth orbit.

ISS Expedition 8 Commander and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Foale and Expedition 8 Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri are accompanied by European Space Agency Astronaut Pedro Duque aboard the ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft. The trio plan to dock Soyuz 8 to the Station at about 2:17 a.m. CDT on Monday, Oct. 20, and hatches between the Station and Soyuz 8 are to be opened at about 5:14 a.m. CDT. Foale and Kaleri are bound for a six-month stay aboard the international research complex. Duque, flying under a commercial agreement between Rosaviakosmos and the European Space Agency, will spend a week aboard the Station conducting a series of scientific studies.

Foale and Kaleri will relieve Expedition 7 Commander Yuri Malenchenko and NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu, who have flown aboard the Station since late April. Malenchenko, Lu and Duque will depart the station on Oct. 27 aboard the ISS Soyuz 7 craft en route to a landing hours afterward in Kazakhstan.

The week ahead will include a variety of joint activities for the five station crew members as they hand over activities onboard. The plans include an interview by ABC News and the Houston Chronicle at 8:45 a.m. CDT Tuesday, Oct. 21; an interview by CNN and CBS News at 9:25 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Oct. 22; a crew news conference at 10 a.m. CDT Thursday, Oct. 23; and a formal change of command ceremony at 1:20 p.m. CDT Friday, Oct. 24. Undocking of the Soyuz 7 carrying Duque and the Expedition 7 crew home is planned for 5:20 p.m. CST on Oct. 27 leading to a touchdown in Kazakhstan at 8:36 p.m. CST.

Information on the crew's activities aboard the Space Station, future launch dates, as well as Station sighting opportunities from anywhere on the Earth, is available on the Internet at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/

Details on Station science operations can be found on an Internet site administered by the Payload Operations Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., at:

http://scipoc.msfc.nasa.gov/

The next ISS status report will be issued Monday after the docking of Soyuz 8 to the ISS, or sooner if events warrant.

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