ROSCOSMOS - Soyuz TMA-18M Mission patch.
Sept. 4, 2015
Soyuz TMA-18M approaches Space Station. Image Credit: ESA
Soyuz crew members Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency joined their Expedition 44 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 6:15 a.m. EDT. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home, marking the first time since 2013 that nine people have been aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Image above: An international crew of nine from the U.S.. Russia, Japan, Denmark and Kazakhstan will work together on the orbital laboratory until Sept. 11. Image Credit: NASA TV.
Expedition 45/Visiting Crew Docks to the Space Station
The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth.
Image above: Sept. 4, 2015: International Space Station Configuration. The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft is docked to the Poisk mini-research module. The Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft is docked to the Zvezda service module. The ISS Progress 60 spacecraft is docked to the Pirs docking compartment. The Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft is docked to the Rassvet mini-research module. Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 is berthed to the Harmony module. Image Credit: NASA.
The trip enables Roscosmos to rotate a crew member and a Soyuz spacecraft. Volkov will remain aboard the station for the next six months, returning in March 2016 with one-year mission crew members Kelly and Kornienko in the Soyuz TMA-18M.
Expedition 45/Visiting Crew Welcomed Aboard the Space Station
Padalka, who launched in March with Kelly and Kornienko in the Soyuz TMA-16M, will return to Earth in that spacecraft on Sept. 11 with Mogensen and Aimbetov, leaving Kelly in command of Expedition 45. Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui will remain aboard the station until late December. Each Soyuz remains in orbit for about six months.
International Space Station (ISS): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html
One-year Mission: https://www.nasa.gov/content/one-year-crew
Connect with Andreas Mogensen: http://andreasmogensen.esa.int/
iriss mission blog: http://blogs.esa.int/iriss
Images (mentioned), Videos, Text, Credits: NASA / NASA TV.