You can watch the arrival of the three new crew members to the International Space Station Thursday night on NASA-TV. Coverage of the event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the space station at 7:58 p.m. Afterwards, coverage will resume at 10:15 p.m. for the hatch opening at 10:40 p.m. Thursday. The new crew members launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Tuesday at 5:17 p.m., and include Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency, and Flight Engineer Steven Swanson of NASA. Dr. Swanson also flew on Space Shuttle missions STS-117 and STS-119, and has over 25 hours of EVA experience from four spacewalks.
The Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft was expected to dock with the space station Tuesday, but that had to be put off until Thursday. NASA says an initial investigation points to a problem with the spacecraft being in the correct orientation for the automated thruster burn to place it in “…perfect position to dock with the space station.” Meanwhile, Russian flight controllers confirmed Wednesday that the Soyuz systems “…appear to be functioning normally.”
The three crew members who launched this week will join three other crew on the space station, who include Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Mikhail Tyurin with Roscosmos. They have been aboard the station since November, and will return to Earth in May. At that time, NASA’s Swanson will assume command of the space station’s Expedition 40.
Click here to visit the NASA TV website.
Click here to visit NASA’s International Space Station website.
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