ISS - Expedition 39 Mission patch.
March 28, 2014
Expedition 39 40 Crew Opens Hatch to the International Space Station
The crew opened the hatches to the station at 10:35 p.m. after a series of leak and pressure checks between the two spacecraft before . The new station residents entered Poisk and greeted Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos.
After the welcoming ceremony and congratulatory words with family, friends and mission officials, the newly comprised crew conducted a mandatory safety orientation. All six crew members then will have an off-duty day Friday as they relax, having shifted their schedules to accommodate the busy launch and docking activities.
The original plan for the Soyuz to arrive at the station in just four orbits over six hours defaulted to the more traditional 34-orbit plan after the Soyuz spacecraft failed to conduct an engine firing early in the rendezvous sequence following launch to refine its orbit.
Image above: The Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft is just a few meters away from docking. Image Credit: NASA TV / Screen capture: Orbiter.ch Aerospace.
The Soyuz crew was safe the entire time as flight controllers replanned their approach and rendezvous. The two day launch-to-docking profile was the normal Soyuz mission profile used for years before Russian space officials began single-day launch to docking efforts in March 2013.
As is customary, Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev will have several days set aside to familiarize themselves with their new home in space. The new trio will also assist the veteran crewmates as they adjust to living and working in space for six months.
International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA
Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev are scheduled to return home in September as Expedition 40 crew members. They will officially become Expedition 40 when Expedition 39 crew members Wakata, Mastracchio and Tyurin end their mission and undock in their Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft in May for their return to Earth.
For more information about the International Space Station (ISS), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned) Text, Credit: NASA.