The Station's sixth crew was launched to the Station aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113 in November 2002. The mission was expected to be a four-month mission that was to end in March 2003 when Atlantis STS-114 was to fly to the Station with the Expedition 7 crew. The Columbia disaster changed plans and the crew stayed on the station until May 2003. They returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-1 and a reduced Expedition 7 crew with just two members was delivered to the ISS on Soyuz TMA-2. The Space Shuttle was expected to be grounded for up to two years. Ongoing logistical support for the ISS would have to be carried out by Soyuz and Progress flights until the Space Shuttle returned to flight.
The sixth crew of the International Space Station returned to Earth just after 10 p.m. EDT on May 3, 2003 the first time U.S. astronauts have landed in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Russian Mission Control reported at approximately 2:45 a.m. May 4 that the support helicopters reached the crew and all three astronauts were in good health. The capsule appeared to touch down about 276 miles (444 km) from its planned landing zone.
Originally scheduled to fly on the Expedition 6 Crew in place of Don Pettit was Donald A. Thomas