October 1, 2008

NASA-TV to Cover ISS Crew Exchange

The U.S. space agency said it will televise the launch of the next International Space Station crew and the return of the current crew to Earth.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Expedition 18 Commander and Science Officer Mike Fincke, Soyuz Commander and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov and U.S. spaceflight participant Richard Garriott are to be launched Oct. 12 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Their Soyuz TMA-13 craft is to dock with the ISS on Oct. 14.

NASA Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who has been on ISS since June, will remain with Fincke and Lonchakov until space shuttle Endeavour arrives on its STS-126 mission in November. NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus will arrive on that flight to replace Chamitoff.

Expedition 17 and Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov, Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and Garriott are to return to Earth Oct. 23 in the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft now docked to the station. Volkov and Kononenko have been aboard the complex since April.

The schedule of the events to be broadcast on NASA TV's public and media channels is available at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.