Soyuz Docks to Space Station with New Crew and 32 Fish

Three new crew members — and 32 fish — are now at the International Space Station. Kevin Ford, Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin joined their Expedition 33 crewmates after docking the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft to the Poisk module at 12:29 UTC (8:29 a.m. EDT) Thursday. They join Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko who have been on board since July 17. Hatches between the International Space Station and the Soyuz will open later today after pressure and leak checks.

32 Asian medaka fish were also launched along with the crew on Tuesday from the from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. No word yet if all the fish survived the launch, but they will be placed in a new aquarium in the Japanese Kibo lab module for research on how the fish react to microgravity and space radiation. It should also be fun for the astronauts — and the public — to watch the fish swim about in the Aquatic Habitat.

The Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, is a Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA, facility that will enable the study of fish aboard the International Space Station. (JAXA)

You can read more about the Aquatic Habitat here.