Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Postcards from Space

Posted by AC Team on Saturday, 23 October 2004.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao's Postcards from Space

Aboard the Station, the Expedition 10 crew, Commander and NASA Station Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, are beginning a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station that will include two spacewalks and preparations for the return of Space Shuttle flights. Expedition 10 is scheduled to return to Earth on April 25, 2005.

Chiao and Sharipov will have light duty for the next three days as they rest after completing a busy handover period. For the past week, they have been learning about Station operations from Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, the two men who called the ship home since April. Padalka and Fincke briefed Chiao and Sharipov on day-to-day operations and gave them hands-on opportunities at Station maintenance: Sharipov joined Padalka in completing repairs to the Elektron oxygen-generating system, and Chiao helped Fincke with the maintenance on the U.S. spacesuits. During his time aboard, Shargin completed a program of scientific experiments.

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Fincke returned to Earth today, after traveling more than 78 million miles aboard the International Space Station.

Returning with them was Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin, who had spent eight days aboard the orbiting complex conducting research.

After a flawless descent by the ISS Soyuz 8 spacecraft, Padalka, Fincke and Shargin landed on target in north-central Kazakhstan, about 43 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of the town of Arkalyk, at 7:36 p.m. CDT. Recovery forces arrived at the site within minutes of the touchdown.