Expedition 6 was the sixth expedition to the International Space Station (25 November 2002 - 3 May 2003). It was the last three-man crew to reside on the station until the arrival of STS-121. The crew performed two spacewalks in support of maintenance and assembly of the International Space Station.
|Commander||Kenneth Bowersox, NASA|
|Flight Engineer 1||Nikolai Budarin, RSA|
|Flight Engineer 2||Donald Pettit, NASA|
|Commander||Salizhan Sharipov, RSA|
|Flight Engineer 1||Michael Fincke, NASA|
|Flight Engineer 2||Donald A. Thomas, NASA|
The Station's sixth crew was launched to the Station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113 in November 2002. The mission was expected to be a four-month mission that was to end in March 2003 when Atlantis STS-114 was to fly to the Station with the Expedition 7 crew. The Columbia disaster, which occurred during the mission on 1 Feb. 2003, and resulted in the indefinite suspension of shuttle flights, changed plans and the crew stayed on the station until May 2003. They returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-1 and a reduced Expedition 7 crew with just two members was delivered to the ISS on Soyuz TMA-2. The Space Shuttle was expected to be grounded for up to two years. Ongoing logistical support for the ISS would have to be carried out by Soyuz and Progress flights until the Space Shuttle returned to flight.
The sixth crew of the International Space Station returned to Earth just after 10 p.m. EDT on 3 May 2003 the first time U.S. astronauts have landed in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, though a U.S. space tourist, Dennis Tito, did so in 2001.
Russian Mission Control reported at approximately 2:45 a.m. 4 May that the support helicopters reached the crew and all three astronauts were in good health. The capsule appeared to touch down about 276 miles (444 km) from its planned landing zone.
Originally scheduled to fly on the Expedition 6 Crew in place of Don Pettit was Donald A. Thomas.
The Expedition Six crew conducted two spacewalks during its stay at the International Space Station. Both were based out of the Quest Airlock, and the spacewalkers used U.S. spacesuits, which are called Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs. The crew was originally scheduled to conduct only one spacewalk, but a second was added to the manifest for 8 April in order to prepare for future assembly missions.
The two Expedition Six extravehicular activities bring the total number of spacewalks conducted in support of ISS assembly and maintenance to 51. Of those 51 EVA's, Twenty-six have been based out of the station, with 17 staged from Quest. Bowersox and Pettit accumulated 13 hours and 17 minutes of spacewalking time at the station.
|Mission||Spacewalkers||Start (UTC)||End (UTC)||Duration|
| Ken Bowersox |
| 15 January 2003 |
| 15 January 2003 |
|6 hours, 51 minutes|
|Bowersox and Pettit continued outfitting and activating the International Space Station's newest component, the P1 (P-One) Truss. The P1's radiator assembly was a major focus during the spacewalk. Bowersox and Pettit released the remaining launch locks on the radiator assembly, which allowed the radiator assembly to be deployed. Other scheduled tasks completed included removing some debris that was on a sealing ring on the Unity Module's Earth-facing docking port, and they tested an ammonia reservoir on the station's P6 Truss. They were unable to complete one scheduled task—the installation of a light fixture on one of the station's Crew and Equipment Translation Aid, or CETA, carts. The fixture's attachment was rescheduled for a future spacewalk. To complete the spacewalk, Bowersox and Pettit cut away a thermal cover strap that apparently interfered with the rotation of the Quest Airlock's hatch and delayed the start of the extravehicular activity.|
| Bowersox |
| 8 April 2003 |
| 8 April 2003 |
|6 hours, 26 minutes|
|Bowersox and Pettit reconfigured cables on the S0 (S-Zero), S1 and P1 Trusses for future Integrated Truss Structure component deliveries and replaced a Power Control Module on the Mobile Transporter. They provided Control Moment Gyro No. 2 with a redundant power channel capability by rerouting cables. Then, they installed Spool Positioning Devices on Destiny Laboratory heat exchangers and reinstalled a thermal cover on an S1 Radiator Beam Valve Module. Bowersox and Pettit also unfurled a light stanchion on the CETA cart that did not unfurl properly during their first spacewalk.|
Expedition 6 is the subject of the book Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space, by Chris Jones.
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