Monday, June 21, 2010

Expedition 23 ends, Exp. 24 begins

Soyuz lands in Kazakhstan

The command crew of ISS Expedition 23 landed on Earth June 1st. The day before, the command team of Expedition 24 took command of ISS when the Soyuz undocked carrying the three members of Exp. 23. The 24 command crew had arrived earlier on April 4th.

The second group of Expedition 24 blasted off from Kazakhstan on Tuesday, June 15.

Soyuz rocket stands by for night launch.

Cosmonauts and astronauts in cramped Soyus capsule.

With the docking of the latest Soyuz ferry capsule, the Expedition crew goes into full operational mode. Docking occurred Thursday June 17th. The commander of the Expedition 24 mission is Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.

Three Droids in zero-G

Expedition 24 is continuing the work with three "droids" of project SPHERE (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites). These little floating guys remind many of us of the "remote" droid in Star Wars. They are flying around in the ISS experimenting with formation flying, positional maneuvers, and other guidance experiments. The droids have been up there since 2006. Each is the size of a bowling ball.

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