Space Station Crew Members Take Short Trip To Move Spacecraft

Thursday, March 29th 2007, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) _ The three crew members of the international space station took a brief trip outside Thursday, relocating a Russian Soyuz vehicle to make room for another spacecraft to dock next month.

Dressed in Russian spacesuits, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and U.S. astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria and Sunita Williams piled into the Soyuz vehicle, which undocked from the space station and traveled about 80 feet to another docking port.

As is a standard precaution when the crew leaves the outpost, crew members prepared the space station for operating without humans in the event that they wouldn't be able to return. They docked again to the space station without any problems about 25 minutes after departing.

The relocation of the Soyuz made room for the arrival on April 9 of another Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov and space tourist Charles Simonyi, who is paying $20 million for his 13-day trip to space.

Lopez-Alegria, Tyurin and Simonyi will return to Earth in a Soyuz on April 20.