Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wrapping it up

Last Saturday the shuttle Discovery and mission STS-119 had a slight delay for weather before landing and successfully completing their mission. Meanwhile on the ISS, Expedition 18 astronauts and cosmonauts are finishing their assignments and turning control over to the new Expedition 19 crew.  Expedition 18 will return to Earth in a Soyuz capsule this Wednesday April 8. The transitional member of 18 and 19, Koichi Wakata of Japan, seen in the center photo above,  remains as part of the new Expedition 19 crew.

Astronaut Wakata should be familiar with the Zvesda module in that picture (credit:NASA, as are almost all photos I use in this blog - good use of my tax dollars). He was on the shuttle flight that brought up and attached the US docking module to Zvesda for the birth of the ISS back in the early 1990's. I just saw him again in the IMAX movie Space Station which chronicles the event. Cheers to Koichi for his long-time support for the space program. It has paid off - he finally gets a 6-month stay on board the station.

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