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Russian cosmonaut to pilot Soyuz spacecraft to new dock on ISS

RIA Novosti


MISSION CONTROL (KOROLYOV, Moscow Region), January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Popping outside to move the car to a different parking space is something most of us do without a second thought, but on Thursday it will be a major endeavor for Maxim Surayev.

The Russian cosmonaut is to pilot the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from its usual docking port on the International Space Station to the new Poisk module, a Russian Mission Control spokesman said. It is expected to take 25 minutes.

"I think I am ready. I know the spacecraft inside and out," Surayev wrote on his blog posted at Russia's Federal Space Agency's website

He will be assisted by U.S. astronaut Jeff Williams.

The command to undock the Soyuz from the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station will be given at 1:00 p.m. Moscow time [10:00 GMT], the spokesman said.

Soyuz Commander and Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Surayev will then maneuver the craft to the Poisk research module for its maiden docking at 1:25 p.m. (10:25 GMT).

The Mission Control representative explained that the manual mode had been chosen to economize on fuel.

The Soyuz craft are used to ferry crew to and from the space station.

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