|Volume: 01, Issue: 09|
Expedition 8 Crew Appointed to Manage International Space StationVeteran NASA astronaut Michael Foale and seasoned Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri have been chosen as the eighth crew to live aboard the International Space Station. Foale will serve as Expedition 8 Commander and NASA/International Space Station Science Officer. Kaleri will be Soyuz Commander and Space Station Flight Engineer.
Foale and Kaleri are scheduled to begin their mission October 18, when the Russian Soyuz TMA-3 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Pedro Duque, from Spain, will join Foale and Kaleri on the outbound trip as Flight Engineer and return home 10 days later.
On October 20, the three will dock their Soyuz to the Station and begin an eight-day transfer process with the Expedition 7 crew, Commander and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Ed Lu, NASA/International Space Station Science Officer.
Malenchenko, Lu and Duque will return to Earth October 28 aboard the Soyuz currently docked at the Station. Malenchenko and Lu have manned the Station since late April.
The backup crew for Expedition 8 has also been named. Veteran NASA astronaut Bill McArthur, a retired U.S. Army colonel, will be Foale’s backup. Kaleri’s alternate is Russian veteran cosmonaut Valery Tokarev, a Russian Air Force colonel. ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers from the Netherlands will back up Duque.
Until the NASA Space Shuttle, known for its significant cargo capability, returns to flight, the International Space Station will be staffed with a crew of two instead of three. The smaller crew is big enough to maintain operations on board the Station yet small enough to live on a reduced supply of water and other consumables. Foale and Kaleri are scheduled to spend approximately six months aboard the Station.
Foale is a veteran of five space flights totaling more than 178 days in space, including more than four months on the Russian Mir Space Station, and has participated in three space walks. Kaleri has flown on three previous missions to the Mir and has logged 416 days in space. October's mission will be Duque's second space flight, following his mission on the Shuttle Discovery (STS-95) in 1998.
NASA astronaut biographies and information about the Space Station are available on the Internet on the NASA space flight Web site at http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov.
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