The undocking from the International Space Station of the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft
that will return Expedition 24 crew members Alexander Skvortsov,
Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko to Earth was waived off shortly
after midnight EDT on Friday, Sept. 24. Managers and engineers are
assessing an apparent problem with the Poisk module docking mechanism.
Another undocking attempt is scheduled for shortly after 10 p.m. EDT today.
Earlier, an initial attempt by Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin to close the
Poisk hatch met with resistance and microswitches did not indicate it was closed.
Eventually, the hatch was closed and leak checks were conducted. Later, as the
first undocking attempt approached, the Poisk hooks and latches failed to open.
During troubleshooting of that issue, Yurchikhin opened the Poisk side of
the docking mechanism and reported finding a loose piece of a gear mechanism
with two teeth broken off.
Expedition 24 crew members Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson
and Mikhail Kornienko rejoin their crewmates inside the station while
analysis of the issue continues.