April 21, 2007

Katherine Trinidad
Headquarters, Washington

John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, Houston



HOUSTON - The 14th crew of the International Space Station, Commander
Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, along with
spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi landed their Soyuz spacecraft
in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 7:31 a.m CDT Saturday.

The Expedition 14 mission included many highlights during its
seven-month duration, including the setting of several records.
Lopez-Alegria completed five spacewalks, which gave him a total of 10
for his career. This set a U.S. record for not only number of
spacewalks, but also cumulative spacewalk time, 57 hours, 40 minutes.
He also set a U.S. record for a single spaceflight’s duration with
more than 215 days. This tops the 196-day mark, previously set by
station crew members Dan Bursch and Carl Walz in 2001 and 2002.

During the mission Flight Engineer Sunita Williams set the record for
number of space walks and total time spent on spacewalks by a woman.
She participated in four space walks for a total of 29 hours and 17
minutes. Williams will remain on the station for the first part of
the new mission.

Three of the crew’s spacewalks were conducted over the course of nine
days, an unprecedented schedule for a station crew. Starting from
scratch, it takes about 100 crew-member hours to prepare for a
spacewalk. By doing them a few days apart, considerable crew time can
be saved by not having to repeat some of those preparatory steps.

Before closing the Soyuz-station hatches at 1:03 a.m. Saturday,
Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin said farewell to the Expedition 15 crew,
Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, flight engineers Oleg Kotov and
Williams. The new crew and Simonyi launched from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome on April 7 and arrived at the station on April 9. Simonyi,
a U.S. businessman, spent 12 days aboard the station under a contract
with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin will now spend several weeks in Star City,
near Moscow, for debriefing and medical examinations. Their return to
Earth was originally scheduled for Friday, April 20, but was delayed
due to wet ground conditions, which could have precluded helicopter
operations. The one-day change allowed for touchdown in a landing
zone farther to the south.

For more about the crew’s activities and station sighting
opportunities, visit:


Non c’è che dire, l’Exp. 14 ha scritto un’altra importante pagina del grande libro dell’Astronautica!

Ma dico avete visto bene come rientra una Soyuz!!! Il bellissimo video postato dall’Admin sul rientro della Soyuz TMA-9 ma ha fatto rabbrividire… Non era certo la prima volte che vedevo il rientro di una Soyuz ma vedere la capsula “schiantarsi” al suolo e poi gli addetti al recupero che la rotolavano come un bidone… senza parlare di quando hanno aperto il portello ed abbiamo visto i tre “malcapitati” strizzzati all’interno… e come ne vengono estratti… tipo sardina…
Quanto siamo lontani dallo scendere a piedi dalla scaletta dopo il rientro di uno shuttle sulla pista del KSC… :wink: