Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Soyuz Docking Fully Restores Space Station Crew

The six-member Expedition 32 crew
Three new crew members docked with the International Space Station early Tuesday, restoring the Expedition 32 crew to its full crew complement of six. 

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide joined their Expedition 32 crewmates as new flight engineers when the hatches between their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 3:23 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA, who arrived at the station in May, welcomed the three new crew members aboard their orbital home for the next four months.

Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide, who launched at 10:40 p.m. Saturday (8:40 a.m. Sunday, Kazakhstan time) from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, docked their Soyuz to the station’s Rassvet Mini-Research Module at 12:51 a.m.