Ten new crew members are scheduled to fly the International Space Station (ISS) over the course of this month to undertake the next phase of construction.

The first Soyuz TM-A spacecraft was launched on 30 October aboard a Soyuz FG booster from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying a three-man crew that will stay at the station until 9 November, when they will return to Earth in the Soyuz TM 34 launched in April. Space Shuttle Endeavour is due to follow on 10 November on mission STS 113, carrying four flight crew and the three Expedition Crew 6 members who will replace Crew 5. The latter will return aboard the Shuttle, ending a mission that started in June, while Expedition Crew 6 will remain in space until next March.

The STS 113 crew will install the P1 solar array truss segment on the port side of the central S0 truss, which was attached to the ISS Destiny module in April, and the starboard segment, the S1, which was installed last month. The S1 and P1 segments contain the station's primary cooling system, including pumps and piping and three large radiator panels. Heat generated by the station's electrical systems is transferred from internal water loops to external ammonia lines in heat exchangers and routed to the S1 and P1 radiator panels.

Connecting electrical cables, data lines and ammonia fluid jumpers will require three spacewalks. The spacewalkers will also install a second "railcar" for the Canadian mobile transporter.

Source: Flight International