ROSCOSMOS - Soyuz TMA.17M Mission patch.
Image above: The Soyuz spacecraft port solar array did not deploy after reaching space. Docking is still set for 10:46 p.m. EDT. Image Credit: NASA TV.
The Soyuz TMA-17M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 10:45 p.m. EDT, over the ocean near Ecuador.
Expedition 44 Crew Docks To The International Space Station
Aboard the space station, Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will welcome Soyuz crew members Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened.
Image above: The International Space Station configuration with the new Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module. Credit: NASA.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) joined their Expedition 44 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft and the International Space Station officially opened at 12:56 a.m. EDT. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos welcomed the new crew members aboard their orbital home.
The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth.
Image above: All six Expedition 44 crew members gathered inside the Zvezda service module for a crew greeting ceremony with new crewmates (front row from left) Kimiya Yui, Oleg Kononenko and Kjell Lindgren. In the back from left are Mikhail Kornienko, Gennady Padalka and Scott Kelly. Credit: NASA TV.
Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yiu are now the 217th and 218th people to board the International Space Station. This is the first visit for both Lindgren and Yiu, and the third for Kononenko.
Expedition 44 Crew Opens Hatch And Enters The International Space Station
Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui will remain aboard the station until late December. Kelly and Kornienko, who have been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in March 2016 at the end of their one-year mission. Padalka, who also has been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in September, leaving Kelly in command of Expedition 45. Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth in March 2016 with Expedition 46 after 342 days in space.
To join the online conversation about the International Space Station on Twitter, follow the hashtag #ISS. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect.
Expedition 44: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/category/expedition-44/
One-Year Crew: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/category/one-year-crew-2/
International Space Station (ISS): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
Images (mentioned), Videos, Text, Credit: NASA/NASA TV.