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 attempt is scheduled for later 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.