Expedition 14’s Space Station Crew Shuffle

Next ISS Crew, Space Tourist Ready for Flight
ISS Expedition 14 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria (left), and flight engineers Sunita Williams (center) and Mikhail Tyurin pose for a crew portrait. Not pictured is ISS flight engineer Thomas Reiter, who is already aboard the space station with the Expedition 13 crew. Williams will replace Reiter in December 2006. (Image credit: NASA.)
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Expedition 14 Crew Stats

Find out more about the ISS Expedition 14 Crew:Commander: Michael Lopez-AlegriaFlight Engineer: Mikhail TyurinFlight Engineer: Thomas ReiterFlight Engineer: Sunita Williams

Williams,too, will stay on to join the Expedition 15 mission after Lopez-Alegria andTyurin return to Earth in March 2007.

"I think I'mgoing to be very lucky to be up there with Expedition 14 first and then withExpedition 15 later on," Williams told reporters in a preflight interview,adding that the next ISS crew will include two Russian cosmonauts and she isnot completely fluent in the Russian language. "I feel a little bit intimidatedby the language, so it will be nice to have that initial time onboard."

Reiter, whomade the shift between Expedition13 and Expedition 14 crews recently, said there is an advantage in swappingout astronauts in stages.

"In previous years this handover period was always a kind ofcritical time because there is a lot to do in these few days when both crewsare still on station," Reiter said in a NASA interview. "The crew that has beenon station needs to explain to the newcomers how all the on board systems areconfigured, where things are stowed and so forth. Once they are gone the only,only place they can ask is the control center."

Butwhen at least one ISS astronaut remains behind during a crew swap, the newstation residents have nearby source of information to tap as questions arise,Reiter said.

"I'm totallyecstatic because of the reality that this is getting a little bit closer,"Williams said of her spaceflight.

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  • Complete Coverage: ISS Expedition 14

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.