Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Station Crew Prepares for Space Travelers

Meanwhile aboard the station, the Expedition 23 crew prepared for the arrival of its new crew members while getting ready for the coming of the STS-131 crew aboard space shuttle Discovery.

Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov, along with Flight Engineers T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi, reviewed the STS-131 joint-mission timeline with control teams on Earth.

After launching April 5, Discovery and the STS-131 crew will arrive at the orbital laboratory April 7. Discovery is delivering new science racks and ammonia tanks. While there, two shuttle astronauts will perform three spacewalks to switch out ammonia tanks on the station.

After the Soyuz and shuttle arrive, there will be 13 people living in space for over a week. Two Japanese astronauts will be working in space together for the first time – Noguchi and Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki. There also will be four female astronauts living in space concurrently for the first time – Caldwell Dyson, Yamazaki and Mission Specialists Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Stephanie Wilson.