Monday, March 31, 2014

ISS Expedition 39 Crew: Safe Arrival at Space Station After 2-Day Delay

Expedition 39, now a six-member crew, talks to family and mission officials moments after entering the space station for the first time on March 27, 2014. 

Credit: NASA TV

Three new crew members have finally made it to the International Space Station, two days later than originally planned.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev docked with the orbiting lab at 7:53 p.m. EDT (2353 GMT) Thursday (March 27), as the two spacecraft cruised over southern Brazil.

The hatch linking the two vehicles opened at 10:35 p.m. EDT Thursday, NASA officials said.

The three spaceflyers blasted off Tuesday afternoon EDT (March 25) and were slated to arrive at the station just six hours later, but the Soyuz failed to complete one of the automated burns required to pull off this "fast track" trip, forcing mission controllers to revert to a more traditional two-day chase and rendezvous.

All systems on the Soyuz now appear to be functioning normally, NASA officials said in an update Wednesday (March 26).

The arrival of SwansonSkvortsov and Artemyev brings the space station back up to its full complement of six crew members.

The newcomers join NASA's Rick Mastracchio, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata (ISS Commander) and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, rounding out the current Expedition 39 aboard the orbiting lab.

Mastracchio, Expedition 39 commander Wakata and Tyurin had had the $100 billion station all to themselves since March 10, when another Soyuz capsule ferried the previous Russian-U.S. crew back down to Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment