New Crew Members Aboard The International Space Station


Three new Expedition 35 crew members are aboard the International Space Station.  The Soyuz Rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  What made this flight unique is it took an expedited six-hour journey to the ISS or four orbits “instead of the usual two-day launch-to-docking mission profile for a Russian spacecraft” according to information released by NASA.  “While this is the first crewed spacecraft to employ this technique, Russian space officials successfully tested it with the last three Progress cargo vehicles.” Aboard the Soyuz Rocket were, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy.  Following the docking the three joined current ISS tenants, Commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency and Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn of NASA and Roman Romanenko of Roscosmos who have been residing at the orbital laboratory since Dec. 21, 2012.  All six crew members participated in a welcome ceremony with family members and mission officials gathered at the Russian Mission Control Center in Star City near Moscow. They will all reside on the station until May, when Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko will return to earth aboard the Soyuz spacecraft.  Their departure in May will mark the beginning of Expedition 36.  On board the ISS are hundreds of experiments taking place covering “human research, biological and physical sciences, technology development, Earth observation, and education.”  This is Chris Cassidy’s second visit to the space station.   His first visit was in 2009, carried to the station aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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