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Space Station Crew Returning to Earth


This week, the International Space Station was crowded with astronauts as incoming and outgoing crews overlapped.

Russian commander Gennady Padalka and American science officer Mike Fincke are finishing up their six-month tour in orbit. They're scheduled to leave the space station later today are set to land in Kazakhstan at 0036 UTC Sunday morning.

In a news conference from orbit, astronaut Fincke said in his final days in orbit he's been concentrating on briefing the new flight crew on things they'll need to know for their 6-month stay on the Space Station. "That's my main focus," he said, "but also I'm thinking about my family. Last night I got to see some video of my daughter. She knows how to turn over now. She's getting really big without me, so I can't wait to come home and I'm looking forward to seeing my family a whole lot."

Mike Fincke's daughter was born in June, and he's been in space since April, so this will be his first chance to see her.

For the next six months, the space station will be in the hands of three-time Shuttle astronaut Leroy Chiao from the United States and Russia's Salizhan Sharipov.

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