Settling in for a Four Month Stay
The shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) today and is headed for home. The shuttle is acting as a taxi home to Earth for the Expedition 2 crew which had been living on the ISS since March. The Expedition 2 crew, Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms, were relieved from duty by Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin.
News story originally written on August 20, 2001
The Expedition 3 crew has only been in space for about 10 days (including time on the shuttle). They will spend the next four months tackling a science-intensive agenda aboard the ISS. The Expedition 4 crew isn't scheduled to take its place onboard the ISS until late this year. One of the first things the Expedition 3 crew has to do is to get ready for the arrival of the Progress supply craft which will be launched from Kazakhstan on August 21, 2001 and will arrive at the ISS on August 23, 2001. There is currently another Progress craft that is docked to the ISS. This Progress craft is actually loaded with trash right now. It will be undocked from the ISS making room for the new Progress craft to dock. The old Progress (trash and all!) will be left to burn up in the atmosphere of the Earth.
Discovery's crewmembers, Commander Scott Horowitz, Pilot Rick Sturckow, and Mission Specialists Pat Forrester and Dan Barry, assisted by the returning Expedition Two crew, are scheduled to land on August 22, 2001. Until then, the shuttle and the ISS are circling the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 246 miles.