Shuttle docks, Eyharts joins STS-123 crew
Shortly after the arrival of Space Shuttle Endeavour at the International Space Station early this morning, ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts officially became a member of the STS-123 Shuttle crew – bringing an end to his 33-day stint as Flight Engineer for the ISS Expedition 16 crew.
Endeavour docked with the Space Station at 04:49 CET (03:49 UT) this morning. The hatches between the two vehicles were opened at 06:36 CET (05:36 UT) and the new arrivals welcomed on board by the resident Expedition 16 crew of Peggy Whitson, Yuri Malenchenko and Léopold Eyharts.
One of the first tasks completed after arrival of the STS-123 crew was the replacement of Eyharts' custom-made Soyuz seat liner with that of Gary Reisman, marking the official end of Eyharts' period as a member of ISS Expedition crew.
The STS-123 mission is dedicated to the continuation of the ISS assembly, delivering the logistics module for the Japanese Kibo laboratory and a Canadian remote-controlled high-precision robot called SPDM (Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator), or ‘Dextre’.
STS-123 is scheduled to undock on 25 March. Landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, is set for 27 March 2008.