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Change of Command Ceremony for Burbank and Kononenko

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:22 am via: NASA
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Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank ceremonially handed the station keys over to Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko Wednesday afternoon. While Burbank prepares to end his first mission to the station, Kononenko is in the middle of his second. His first was in 2008 as flight engineer for Expedition 17.

Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will end their stay at the station Friday. They will undock in their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft at 4:19 a.m. EDT and land in Kazakhstan a little over three hours later. Expedition 31 officially begins when the homebound trio undocks.

Soyuz TMA-22 NASA TV Coverage on Friday, April 27
12:45 a.m. – Crew Farewell/Hatch-Closing coverage begins
4 a.m. – Undocking coverage begins
6:30 a.m. – Deorbit burn/Landing coverage begins

Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers will continue their stay as Kononenko begins his command. The trio’s return home is planned for July 1 when they will undock and land in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft.

They will welcome three new crewmates in mid-May when they launch and arrive aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft. Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin are currently preparing for their mission at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

Meanwhile, mission managers decided to push back the SpaceX Dragon capsule’s launch target to May 7 at 9:38 a.m. As SpaceX officials reviewed the vehicle’s systems the space station raised its orbit Wednesday morning to the proper position for the capsule’s rendezvous and capture.

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