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ISS Command Changes Hands

The reins of the International Space Station were passed from Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko to cosmonaut Gennady Padalka during a ceremony on the orbital outpost on June 29, 2012. Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit of NASA and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency arrived at the station on December 23, 2011, and will make a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan on July 1, 2012 in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. Padalka, who is the first three-time commander of the station, NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba and Russian Flight Engineer Sergei Revin will be joined on July 17 by oncoming Expedition 32/33 crew members Yuri Malenchenko, Flight Engineer Suni Williams of NASA and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
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