Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Russian space agency Roscosmos, along with Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, moved a spacecraft now at the ISS — Soyuz TMA-16M — from the Poisk module to the Zvezda docking port. The maneuver began at 3:12 a.m. EDT and concluded about 3:30 a.m.
By 12:38, NASA posted to Twitter that the mission had been completed and displayed a graphic showing the various docking positions on the ISS, or “orbiting laboratory,” as the space agency often refers to the space station.
Now, moving the Soyuz TMA-16 into the port makes room for the delivery of a new Soyuz to the station on Sept. 2. Soyuz TMA-18M will transport three additional crewmembers to the ISS and then is scheduled to transport Kelly and Kornienko home next March to conclude their one-year ISS mission.
The newly arriving crewmembers include Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency.
Mogensen and Aimbetov will have relatively brief tours of space duty. They are set to return to Earth with Padalka on Saturday, Sept. 12, in the Soyuz TMA-16M.