Friday, September 26, 2014

Expedition 41 Astronauts Welcomed Aboard Space Station

The new six-member Expedition 41 crew gathers in the Zvezda service module for a welcoming ceremony with family and friends in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Image Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova joined their Expedition 41 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 1:06 a.m. EDT.

Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, who arrived at the station in May, welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home.

Shortly after docking with the International Space Station, the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft's port solar array deployed successfully.

Earlier, the solar array had failed to deploy when the Soyuz reached orbit.

The image of the spacecraft's approach, taken from the ISS, clearly shows only one solar array has been deployed.

NASA and Roscosmos officials have confirmed that the array poses no long term issue to either standard operations at the station for Expedition 41-42, or for the landing of Barry WilmoreAlexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova at the conclusion of their mission in March.

ESA’s “Georges Lemaître” ATV-5 docked at the ISS.

Credit: ESA

There are now five spacecraft docked to the station its maximum visiting vehicle capacity.

There are two Soyuz vehicles, one Progress 56 resupply ship, Europe’s “Georges Lemaître” ATV-5 and the SpaceX Dragon commercial space freighter which arrived Tuesday morning.

The new crew floated into their new home for a welcoming ceremony and congratulatory calls from family, friends and mission officials in Baikonur.

After the ceremony ended the new crew will underwent a mandatory safety orientation to familiarize themselves with escape paths and procedures and locations of safety gear.

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