WASHINGTON — Three new crew members are on their way to the International Space Station. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (8:40 a.m. Baikonur time July 15).
Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide are scheduled to dock their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft to the Rassvet module of the station at 12:52 a.m. EDT Tuesday, July 17. They will join Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba of NASA and Sergei Revin of Russia, who have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since May 17.The six crew members will work together for about two months. Acaba, Padalka and Revin are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 17. Before they depart, Padalka will hand over command of the station and Expedition 33 to Williams. She, Malenchenko and Hoshide will return home in mid-November.
NASA Television will provide live docking coverage beginning at 12:15 a.m., July 17. Hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will occur about three hours later.
To follow Twitter updates from the Expedition 32 and 33 astronauts, visit:
http://twitter.com/Astro_Suni http://twitter.com/AstroAcaba http://twitter.com/Aki_Hoshide
NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer and Expedition 33 commander
Above: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, Expedition 32/33 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Sokol launch and entry suit, takes a break from training in Star City, Russia to pose for a portrait. Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center .
(Below) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, Expedition 32/33 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Sokol launch and entry suit, takes a break from training in Star City, Russia to pose for a portrait. Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center