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The latest crew has arrived to the International Space Station! Cosmonaut and Expedition 34/35 Soyuz Commander Roman Romanenko, Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA and Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency docked their Soyuz TMA-07M at 14:09 UTC (9:09 a.m. EST) to the Rassvet module on the Russian segment of the ISS. We extend special congratulations to Hadfield, as we have been featuring him in our series about his training for the mission. He told us how much he is looking forward to his 5-month mission in space. “After a lot of lucky coincidences and a lot of hard work I get to be one of those who stays for an extended period off the planet. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
Hatches are expected to open at 16:15 UTC (11:15 am EST) after checking for leaks, etc. The new crew will be welcomed by Expedition 34 commander Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy, who have been on board since Oct. 23.
NASA says the crew will begin with a relatively light schedule and a break for the holidays of Christmas, New Years and the Russian Christmas holiday on January 6. But they’ll be busy during their mission with the arrival of Russian and European Space Agency resupply and two commercial companies, SpaceX and Orbital are scheduled to send their cargo ships to the ISS in March and April.
Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin are scheduled to leave the ISS in the middle of March, and at that point, Hadfield will become commander of Expedition 35, the first Canadian to to command the ISS.
Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko during their final Soyuz sim on Earth. Credit: NASA