27 September 2006

Expedition 13 Nearing Conclusion

by Phil Johnson

y friend Col. Jeff Williams will soon be on his way home from the International Space Station (ISS).

Jeff and Commander Pavel Vinogradov turned over command of the ISS to the new crew in a ceremony Wednesday. Thursday afternoon they will climb in their Soyuz capsule and close the capsule at 1:45 CDT (Houston time). They will undock from ISS about three hours later. If all goes well, they will land in a high desert area known as "the steppes" in Kazakhstan at 8:14 PM CDT Thursday night.

Returning with them will be American businesswoman, blogger, and space tourist Anousheh Ansari, who arrived at the ISS several days ago with the new crew in a Soyuz capsule. In an interview a few days ago, Ansari said the blastoff and ascent into orbit was very difficult and she experienced severe motion sickness. I'm told the trip down is ten times worse, so please pray for the whole crew.

Jeff's wife, Anna-Marie, is on her way to Kazakhstan as I write this. Please pray for her as well. We'll try to keep PyroManiacs readers informed of any important news as Expedition 13 draws to a close.

ncidentally, last week I posted this digital photo snapped by Jeff:

That's the so-called "Day Fire," which began on Labor Day. It is still raging. Wednesday afternoon one of my co-workers at Grace to You was evacuated from his home, with the fire 4 miles away and closing in. From here in Santa Clarita, the whole world smells like a big campfire.

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candyinsierras said...

Yesterday the wind was such, that we observed a ribbon of smoke winding its way east to north of downtown. It was your fire. Sad it is still raging. Wow...your friend Jeff is amazing. We pray for a safe ride home.

donsands said...

Lord, bring Jeff home to his family. And send rain upon this fire. Glorify your name. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Phil, how close is the fire to the Grace to You facilities and to The Master's College? We are praying for all of you.

Phil Johnson said...

The fire poses no immediate danger to the Grace to You offices or The Master's College. It's several miles north of Grace to You and traveling a dfferent direction (last I heard). And the whole city of Santa Clarita lies between the fire and The Master's College, so they are safe.

So far the fire has mostly affected wilderness areas in a national forest just north of here. It would have to burn through a lot of homes and buildings to get from where it is to where I am.

But I do have several friends (including the one co-worker I mentioned) who live in a remote community (Pine Mountain) that lies just in the path of the leading edge of the fire. Keep them in your prayers today. If the fire hits that community it will do LOTS of serious damage.

Steve said...

I know Brian Morley (of The Master's College) and his wife Donna are in Pine Mountain. Has the whole community had to evacuate, or just the outer fringes?

sparrowhawk said...

8:55p CT...I am watching the live NASA feed full-screen on my monitor. Praise the Lord for answered prayer. They landed safely.

All three are reclining in chairs with Kazakstan doctors, nurses, scientists, and evidently friends and some family as well. What a sweet scene, such a difference from the grand-scale helicopter, carrier, and shuttle landing scenes were used to. Very nice, really. A huddled group of happy folks on an icy morning in another part of the world, safe, and our friend Jeff Williams among them.