Accessibility links

Change in Command on Board ISS - 2001-12-14

The outgoing U.S.-Russian crew of the international space station has formally turned over command to its replacement team.

After four months in orbit, outgoing U.S. station commander Frank Culbertson handed the ship's log to his Russian replacement, Yury Onufrienko.

"Overall, the station is flying well," said Mr. Culbertson. "We have upgraded many areas, but it's a great ship. The ship is now your responsibility."

Mr. Culbertson and his two Russian colleagues have spent a week briefing Mr. Onufrienko and two U.S. astronauts, and are to return to Earth aboard the visiting space shuttle Endeavour on Monday.

The 10 members of the combined station and shuttle spent Thursday packing used equipment and trash into Endeavour. Their focus Friday is on fixing a faulty air conditioner in the Russian Zvezda module.

Endeavour flight directors report a key navigation tool has failed aboard the shuttle, but the mission will continue as planned with two backup units.