Expedition 14 was the 14th expedition to the International Space Station (ISS). Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on September 18, 2006, 04:09 UTC, aboard Soyuz TMA-9. They joined Thomas Reiter, who had arrived at the ISS on 06 July 2006 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during mission STS-121. In December 2006, Discovery mission STS-116 brought Sunita Williams to replace Reiter as the third member of Expedition 14. On April 21, 2007, Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin returned to Earth aboard TMA-9. Landing occurred at 12:31:30 UTC.
(#) number of spaceflights each crew member has completed, including this mission.
The first crew of Expedition 14 launched, alongside spaceflight participant Anousheh Ansari, in Soyuz TMA-9, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz Rocket at 04:10am UTC on 18 September 2006. Cosmonaut Tyurin piloted the capsule in for a perfect docking two days later at 05:21am UTC on 20 September, with the hatch to the ISS opening at 08:30am UTC. The members of Expedition 14 (along with Ansari) were greeted warmly by Expedition 13 crew Pavel Vinogradov & Jeff Williams, and also by the third member of their own expedition, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, who officially switched from a member of Expedition 13 to membership of Expedition 14 when his soyuz seat-liner was switched.
The day after docking, with the expedition crew working joint operations with Expedition 13, the ISS was positioned in such a way that the station's inhabitants were able to observe the re-entry of Space Shuttle Atlantis at the end of STS-115. As they watched Atlantis create a glowing contrail during its plunge into the atmosphere, Lopez-Alegria and Williams provided commentary of the re-entry to the Mission Control Center in Houston. The station was a few hundred miles ahead of the shuttle at the time.
During the spacewalk, Tyurin hit a golf ball from the exterior of the Pirs airlock. This "experiment" was sponsored by a Toronto based commercial company, Element 21, which manufactures golf clubs made of Scandium. The ball weighs just 3 grams, compared with 48 grams for a standard golf ball. At that weight, it was unlikely to damage any station components which might accidentally have been hit. There were three balls allowing two options for repeating the shot if required, but only one shot was actually taken. Taken with a one-handed grip by Tyurin (with Lopez-Alegria stabilising Tyurin by holding his legs), the shot was a substantial slice, with the ball flying off to the right of the station instead of the rear. There are plans for the video from the shot to be used in a TV commercial. The progress of the ball, which contains tracking equipment, can be followed on It has already been in space much longer than the three days NASA predicted after the shot. The stunt was carried out around 35 years after Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the moon during Apollo 14.
Inspection of a Kurs antenna on the Progress 23 unpiloted cargo carrier that docked at the aft end of the station's Zvezda Service Module on 26 October 2006 was the next task. Final latching of the spacecraft to the station during the docking procedure was delayed by more than three hours because Mission Control Moscow was not sure the antenna was completely retracted. Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria moved to the rear of Zvezda and photographed the antenna. It was still fully extended, so Tyurin used a screwdriver to release a latch and tried to retract the antenna. Russian flight controllers also tried to retract it by activating a motor. Neither succeeded, and the task was abandoned.
Next they relocated a WAL antenna, which will guide the unpiloted European cargo carrier, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, to docking with the station. The first ATV, Jules Verne, is scheduled to fly to the ISS next year. In its previous position the antenna interfered with a cover for a Zvezda booster engine.
Then the two installed a BTN neutron experiment, which characterizes charged and neutral particles in low Earth orbit. Atop Zvezda, its readings during solar bursts should be of special interest to scientists. Two thermal covers from the BTN were jettisoned before the spacewalkers returned to the Pirs airlock at 00:55 EST (04:55 UTC) on the morning of 23 November, bringing the 5-hour, 38-minute EVA to a close .
A final scheduled task, an inspection of bolts on one of two Strela hand-operated cranes on the docking compartment, was postponed to a future EVA.
This mission was the longest expedition to the ISS thus far. Also, the Soyuz capsule was the oldest one ever used. Lopez-Alegria, already the U.S. recordholder for spacewalks, now also holds the record for longest spaceflight by a NASA astronaut. This space walk has been named the Lancaster spacewalk and sponsored by UNIvision.