Three new flight engineers who will compose Expedition 30 arrived at the International Space Station Wednesday for a four-month stay on the orbiting complex. NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, were delivered by Soyuz TMA-22 which blasted off from Kazakhstan on Monday.
The three new ISS crew were welcomed by Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum of NASA and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov who will be heading home Monday aboard Soyuz TMA-02M, the spacecraft that brought them to the station June 9.
Their departure will mark the beginning of Expedition 30, under the command of Burbank. A formal change-of-command ceremony is planned for Sunday.
Burbank is a veteran with three visits to the station, while Shkaplerov and Ivanishin are making their first flights into space.
Burbank's previous two visits were both aboard space shuttle Atlantis. In September 2000, he helped prepare the station for its first permanent crew, and in September 2006, he conducted a 7-hour, 11-minute spacewalk that completed truss installation, activated the solar alpha rotary joint and enabled the solar arrays to be deployed.
The three men are to remain aboard the space station until March.
According to NASA, three additional Expedition 30 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers -- are scheduled to launch to the station Dec. 21
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